By Okey Maduforo
Twenty four hours after fourteen Revenue touts and hoodlums were apprehended in Okpoko Ogbaru local government area and Onitsha North and South local government areas, the Anambra House of Assembly is to pass a bill into law stipulating at least two years imprisonment for fake Revenue Agents.
Recall that the Enforcement Team of the Operation Clean And Healthy Anambra state aka OCHA Brigade had stormed the major flash points of touting and criminality and apprehended culprits of those crimes recently.
According to the Managing Director of OCHA Brigade Mr Celestine Anere who spoke to reporters in his office at Awka , the essence of the new law is to check mate the activities of touts and ensure that revenue of the state do not get into private pockets.
“We are indeed worried about the activities of these Revenue Thieves who have been ripping off the state and have been harassing and intimidating Innocent members of the public and we as a body have put in place measures to check mate them”
“As you can see the enforcements that we have been carrying out is yelling results and this is made manifest in the arrests carried out so far “
“But the Anambra state government has sent a Bill to the State House of Assembly for it’s passage and when the Bill is passed into law the punishment for offenders would be one or two years imprisonment or option of a fine of N500,000.00 “
“The essence of that Bill is to send the touts out of the streets for a long time and I can assure you that give us one month the number of touts would reduce drastically in Anambra state “
Anere further explained that the law is not to witch hunt anybody but to bring sanity in the state and increase the Revenue profile of the state.
He advised the youths who are involved in touting to take advantage of the program of Gov Charles Soludo on One Youth, Two Skills to get themselves gainfully employed and responsible instead of taking to crime.
Anere noted that the set of staff of the Ocha Brigade currently have been trained to be polite and act responsibility in the discharge of their duties adding that they would continue to undertake periodic training on how to serve the public.