Anambra State Commissioner for Transport, Mr Afam Mbanefo, says the ministry under his watch, will investigate alleged reports of fraudulent activities involving officials of the state Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).
Mbanefo stated this yesterday in Awka while speaking with journalists on public outcry on fraudulent activities by VIO officials in the state.
He said that the present Anambra State Government led by Governor Willie Obiano has zero-tolerance for fraudulent activity or corruption.
There have been complaints by some vehicle owners that the VIO officials harass and impound their vehicles on trumped-up charges and end up extorting money from them.
Mbanefo added that the ministry would investigate the complaints, assuring that no fraudulent person will be spared.
He said the AIRS and VIO had distinct but complementary roles, adding that what was more important to the VIO was that vehicles are roadworthy.
“Ideally, VIO has stipulated and strategically defined roles, they should know exactly what their role is, we will investigate this complaint.
“The officials are not supposed to take money for what they should not take money for or charged for an offence they are not supposed to charge because the penalties are clear and open, every payment must go into government single account,” he said.
A source from the Ministry, who also speak, revealed that the VIO officials were in very serious racketing which they have used to exploit many unsuspecting motorists.
“What is happening in the VIO is serious racketing being supervised by a political appointee and many vehicle owners have fallen victims already.
“The person acting as State VIO is even somebody that refused to hand over to the main state deployed from Ministry of Works who is on higher grade level,” he said.
A victim who pleaded anonymously told journalists in Awka that his car was impounded for three days by the office for refusing to pay a fine of N50, 000.
“The VIO officials claimed that one of my vehicle document which I paid for its renewal at the same time was fake.
“Their position after I presented the documents was that they have checked on the database for vehicle license and saw that I have a problem.
“I tried to explain to them that I made the payment through a state revenue official, whom I later brought to clear me, yet they confiscated my vehicle for three days,” he said.
According to the source, after the invitation of the Motor Registration Staff of Anambra Internal Revenue Service who processed the papers failed, I drew the attention of some journalists and the moment they realized that media people had stepped in, the officials called me to come and take my car.
The source claimed that the VIO officials had first told him to bring N100,000, later N50,000 before reducing the money to N30, 000 over the offence they said it’s official charge was N7,500.
In his reaction, Mr Macdonald Achuam, the Chief VIO Officer, said some motorists forge of a government document.
“What I am doing is to help, normalize the system because our investigations show that some people drive with fake documents”, he claimed.
When you forged government document, you have to pay fine but I wouldn’t know who will pay,” he said.
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