Rights groups call for disbanding Soludo’s traffic agency over corruption – Veloxnews

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From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, OnitshaGovernor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has been called to immediately disband the recently constituted Anambra State Road Management Agency (ARTMA) over alleged corruption and intimidation of motorists in the state.The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) and Campaign for Democracy (CD), South East Zone, made calls in a statement signed by their chairman, Dede Uzor due to their activities of the agency capable of causing a breakdown of law and order.The groups also called on the governor to constitute an ARTMA made of people with character who are professionally trained to do the work with a human face.They also said that the present Commander of the agency, Emmanuel Nnamdi (Ochudo), should be sacked and arrested for alleged corruption and being behind the extortion of road users in the state.Uzor said the disbandment of the agency has become imperative to stem the tide of corruption, abuse, high-handedness and criminalities exhibited by the men of the agency against road users in Anambra State.The groups said the agency abandoned its statutory duty of managing traffic on the Anambra roads and engaged in abuse and exhortation of road users.The groups said the state cannot set up an organisation like ARTMA purposely for profit motives, lamenting that their unconventional operation of just impounding vehicles and extorting money negates their statutory duty.They alleged that ARTMA remapped some major streets and roads in the State and made them one-way without adequate publicity to sensitise motorists and other road users.“They cash in on the ignorance of the motorists that some places have been turned into one way to impound people’s vehicles and exhort huge sums of money ranging from N30, 000 to N100, 000 depending on the vehicle, especially Niger-under-Bridge”.“If you introduce a new law and you publicise it so that the public will know about it. Don’t use it as bait to impound vehicles and impose outrageous fines. Unfortunately, sometimes these people lure drivers where to park, then they would impound the vehicle and extort and collect huge sums of money from their victims.The group also frowned at the carrying of POS machines around by ARTMA operatives which they give their victims to transfer money from their bank accounts with white buses as a notorious and most dangerous group.The groups said that most traffic offenders were commercial vehicles but the operatives looked the other way and most times and go for private cars where they can exhort huge money.According to Uzor, Onitsha Owerri road is the most trafficked road but they look the other way because they were commercial vehicles.They said one pathetic case was a private school bus belonging to Promise International School in Onitsha which was impounded and detained for one week but was released after the payment of N22,500; and a medical doctor from Gloria Hospital Award, Onitsha, who had the same experience of being extorted with the same amount for driving in the one-way road for an emergency.An allegation Nnamdi, swiftly denied, saying that the agency carried its activities in line with the laws of the state and the act that established it.



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