Barristers & Solicitors
Anambra traders petition Soludo, accuse commissioner of ‘racketeering’

A group, under the aegis of Anambra Elite Trader’s Forum, has accused the Anambra State Commissioner for Commence and Industry, Dr Obinna Ngonadi, of selling market leadership offices.

In a petition to the state Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, the group accused Ngonadi of selling leadership spaces of markets in the state to the highest bidders.

They claimed that the petition became necessary to notify the governor of the alleged atrocities of the commissioner and the danger such action portends for the state.

The petition was signed by the executive members of the group led by Chikeluba Odiche and Micheal Nwangwu and copied to journalists in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Tuesday.

They also alleged that the commissioner disobeyed the court process at the New Auto Spare Parts market where he approved the construction of new shops on top of the existing ones owned by members of the association without their consent.

The petition read, “We wish to intimate your Excellency that the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr Obinna Ngonadi is presently selling the leadership offices in the different markets in Anambra State to the highest bidders.

“The sale bazaar has passed through many markets which include Bridge-Head Market, Nkpor Main Market, Electronics Market Ogbaru, Ose okwuodu Market, Ogbaru Main Market, NASPA Nnewi Market and several other Markets.

“In each of these markets, the commissioner auctioned the different executive officers and positions existing in the markets, wherein traders paid varying sums of money for these positions.

“The commissioner ignore in a brazen manner, different court cases pending in respect of his unlawful removal of market leaders.

“The action of this commissioner has caused many traders in the market to institute different court cases in different law courts in the state. It might interest your excellency to note that some of these cases involve not just the ministry and Dr. Ngonadi as parties, but also the Anambra State Government.”

The group claimed that at present, there are over 40 court cases pending in different courts against the state ministry of commerce and industry and the Anambra State Government.

The traders, however, appealed to the governor to critically look into the matter and ensure that the commissioner is called to order and be made to retrace his steps as tension in the different markets is already charged, hence the need for the intervention.

Meanwhile, the commissioner, Ngonadi, in his reaction, dismissed the petition, describing it as the handiwork of criminals in the market fighting back because the government is doing the right thing.

“We ignore all these baseless petitions because we know what we are doing and we know they will definitely fight back. The criminals in the market, we know who they are and we know they will definitely fight back. I don’t respond to such petitions, I deal with them,” Ngonadi said.