BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA – The Aba Police Area Command has recovered 74 vehicles and arrested 42 suspects over illegal taskforce teams extorting motorists on major roads in the city.
Police Area Commander in charge of Aba, ACP Peter Wagbara, who stated in an interview with journalists, disclosed that the suspects were nabbed at the Fire Service Station, Factory road rail crossing and the State Ministry of Works premises in Aba.
Wagbara further stated that the 74 vehicles were recovered at the Fire Service station and Ministry of Works premises where touts converted to their operation base, stressing that some of the vehicles had been parked at the two premises for more than four years. He urged motorists whose vehicles were confiscated by the illegal taskforce to report to the Area Command office with proof of ownership and recover them at no cost.
Sunday Vanguard recalls that touts had taken over major roads in Aba where they arrest motorists demanding all sorts of illegal levies. Motorists who refused to accede to their demands would have their vehicles confiscated and taken to the Ministry of Works and Fire Service station where they are made to pay fees ranging from N10, 000 to N15, 000.
On several occasions, vehicles have crashed with passengers injured while touts struggle to confiscate vehicles at the Factory road railway crossing.
Angered by the development, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu had directed the Police Area Commander in Aba to ensure that illegal taskforce teams operating in the city were taken out of the Ministry of Works, railway crossing and Fire Service station.
When Sunday Vanguard visited the Ministry of Works and Fire Service Station, the two areas looked deserted with officials go about their duties, even as a team of policemen were stationed at the gates.
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