The Department of State Services in Anambra State has arrested a market leader, Victor Isichekwe, in Oye Uga, Aguata Local Government Area of the state for allegedly diverting government revenue into his personal account.
The Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Market and Wealth Creation in the state, Dr. Christian Mmadubuko, disclosed this to Southern City News on Sunday.
He said he personally made the arrest and handed over the suspect to the DSS.
The commissioner said, “The suspect is in the practice of issuing fake receipts to payers to enable him to divert government funds into his personal account. He has since been handed over to the Department of State Services.”
Mmadubuko regretted that revenue diversion had continued unabated in the state despite efforts by successive governments to curb it.
While insisting that the era of misappropriation of government funds was over, he warned that any persons caught in diverting government funds would be prosecuted.
He added, “All those who have permit from the government to collect revenue should liaise with my ministry to ensure their job specification and the duration of their services, while the marketers should put on hold any payment till further notice.”
The Head, Department of Market in the Ministry, Mrs. Nkiruka Nwosu, said on assumption of office in 2017, she surprisingly noticed that market leaders were giving authority letters to collect revenue in their various markets.
She regretted that many of them were not complying with the directive of using the integrated pay direct system in revenue collection.
Speaking, the suspect, Isichekwe, said he was printing receipts, not to divert government funds, but to satisfy traders, who insisted that they would not pay government levies if receipts were not issued to them.