The Police Command in Rivers has arrested one Sunny Williams and three others for alleged illegal tax collection from truck drivers and traders at Oyigbo in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
The command’s Spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that the Inspector-General Police had directed the police to arrest illegal tax collectors.
Omoni said: “There was a signal from the I-G directing the police to arrest and prosecute any person or group of persons collecting illegal taxes on federal roads.
“I am not aware of any matter in court against the police.
“All I know is that the I-G had directed the police to arrest and prosecute anybody or group of persons for illegal tax collection on federal roads.”
Prince Opara, Chairman, Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria, Rivers branch, alleged that the suspects had used violence to collect tax from his members.
He said the suspects were arrested by the I-G Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the state, and commended I-G for deploying the Special Squad to the state.
Opara also commended Governor Nysom Wike for his efforts at ridding the State of touts and illegal tax collectors.
He decried the activities of the suspects, while urging the Rivers Board of Internal Revenue and the Ministry of Agriculture not to encourage illegal tax collection.
The chairman appealed to the F-SARS to do more in clearing the roads of illegal tax collectors in the interest of the public.
According to him, the traders had put the illegal taxes they paid, on the prices of foodstuff, thereby increasing the cost of foodstuff in the market.
He noted that the effort of his union was to make foodstuff affordable to the public and make life bearable.
NAN reports that the union is made up of about 25 associations dealing in foodstuff and related items.