Bribery: Rights Groups Give Soludo 7 Days To Disband ATMA, Ocha Brigade


By Adadareporters

Two civil rights groups, Sunday, demanded disbanding of the Anambra State Road Transport Management Agency (ATMA) and the Ocha Brigade over alleged extortions.

The Campaign for Democracy (CD) in South East and the Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) alleged that ATMA ‘is doing nothing to manage roads in the state, rather the leadership and operatives of the agency are busy extorting motorists to enrich themselves’.

The chairman of CD in the South East and executive director of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, alleged that ATMA operatives ‘target car owners to collect huge sums of money, instead of commercial bus drivers who actually cause obstruction and park indiscriminately on the major roads and streets within the metropolis’.

The groups alleged that the transport agency extorts money ranging from N20,000 to N100,000 from their victims, adding that the attitude of the personnel of ATMA was the reason many people ‘don’t come to Onitsha in their vehicles because of fear of molestation and extortion’.

According to the statement, “Another deadly group is the Ocha Brigade which has abandoned its statutory responsibility of decongesting traffic and embarked on revenue generation. Both the ATMA and OCHA Brigade need to be disbanded.”

The rights groups said most traders residing in Asaba, Delta State, do not drive their vehicles to Onitsha again because of the unwholesome activities of ATMA personnel, rather they park them around ‘God is Good Motors’ and cross over to Onitsha in Keke or commercial buses.

“The ATMA personnel also target private cars which carry numbers outside Anambra State numbers and South-East because they blackmail, intimidate and extort good money from them.

“They suppose to manage traffic but they are not doing that. They are just harassing motorists, extorting money from them and giving the state a bad name, especially the under the bridge,” said the rights groups.

The rights groups asked Soludo to ‘sack the managing director of ATMA, Mr Emeka Okonkwo, alias Konti; his management team and other personnel like Mr Nnamdi Emmanuel Aghadinaulo aka Ochudo, and Mr Henry Ugochukwu Ezeji aka Dangerous Akwansa, and others who are notorious for the callous way they deal with motorists’.

“Their criminal activities have risen to apogee. They make more than N500,000 per day in Onitsha and N6m in a month but the money does not go into the government cover. It goes to their private pockets. Only a paltry sum goes to the coffers of the state government,” the groups alleged.

The groups further called on the governor to disband ATMA and train a new set of people within seven days of this statement ‘failure to adhere to our advice shall attract a massive protest to seek home our request’.

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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