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Anxiety as Revenue Touts Beat Female Customer to Coma in Onitsha Market



By Praise Chinecherem

Illegal revenue collectors suspected to be working for the caretaker committee of Ogbaru Main Market, Onitsha, Anambra State on Wednesday beat a female customer to coma for allegedly refusing to pay certain dues demanded from her.

The victim, simply identified as Mama Ifeoma, from Mbaitolu in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, was reportedly attacked for refusing to pay twice an amount demanded by the revenue collectors.

An eye witness said the victim, a widow, who was in the market to make purchases and was going when she was accosted by the thugs who insisted she must pay a certain levy for the goods she purchased.

She said efforts to explain she had earlier paid her levy to another group proved abortive as they descended on her mercilessly.

She said, “Problem started when she told the revenue collectors that she had already paid and will not pay another money. They  beat her until she fell down and they confiscated her goods.

“The violence nature of these revenue touts is becoming worrisome and we are helpless right now. Anyone who dares to resist is beaten to stupor, both traders and customers.

“They always boast that they have the backing of the caretaker committee chairman and the commissioner to carry out these violence activities.”

Reacting to the development, some members of the Board of Trustees at the market, described as show of shame the activities going on in the market in the name of revenue drive.

They called on authorities concerned to rise up to occasion to address the situation.

When contacted, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, David Obidike dismissed the allegations, just as he declined confirmation of existence of such revenue collectors and their activities in the market.

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