Tipper Drivers Association, Anambra state yesterday blocked road leading to the State Magistrate, Customary courts and Examination Registration centre at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra state. They blocked the road, preventing judicial officers of both the magistrate and customary courts from going out of their offices after the close of work.
The drivers protested the detention of their president, Chief Davison Ebuka and four chairmen for standing against the payment of levies imposed by the government. The tipper drivers alleged that the state government was charging them N1,400 for 12 cubic of tipper sand and N700 for 6 cubic tipper per trip, which they described as high and obnoxious.
According to deputy president of the Association, C.C. Udenwa Ezekwesili, the imposition of N1400 and N700 taxation on them by state government was unacceptable. “We did not say we are not going to pay but we cannot pay such amount after we paid to the federal government. Above all, we had obtained a court judgement in our favour at the federal high court Awka, which no court had vacated. We don’t know why the government is harassing us by using police and court to detain our members,” he lamented.
According to him, they have been occupying the court premises for four days, urging the magistrate to release their president who has been detained by the order of the court in the last ten days. “We met the bail condition and our chairman was released, few minutes into his release, he was rearrested and we don’t know why,” he said. He called for release of their leader and members who had been in detention. The deputy president also appealed to the state governor, Willie Obiano to quickly intervene in the crisis. The coordinator of Recover Nigeria Programme, Mr. Osita Obi urged the governor to quickly intervene and resolve the issue. According to him, “before this administration, government was charging N100 per a tipper every day but sadly now government is charging N1400 and N700 per a trip and not even a day again in the name of revenue drive”.