Alleged N80m embezzlement tears Anambra market apart

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The leadership of Onitsha Bridge Head Market Traders Association has been torn apart over allegation of N80m embezzlement.

The allegation has pitted the executives and board of trustees of the market against each other.

The board of trustees of the market led by Mr Emma Ilonze and Chukwudi Ekwueme as chairman and secretary respectively has petitioned Gov Willie Obiano describing the market executive led by Chief Sunday Obinze as a corrupt officials.

They were accused of using fake receipts to illegally collect and embezzle the amount from traders in the market.

The board of trustees of the market in news conference on Thursday in Onitsha petitioned the governor.

They said that bloodshed, disorderliness and doom was in the air as the traders were planning to take laws into their hands if Obinze led executive was not prosecuted.

It was gathered from a source in the market that the traders plan to block the River Niger bridge to force the governor to take action on the matter.

Part of the petition by the BOT which was made available to journalists read, “There is an unfortunate  and shameful discovery of fraud, diversion of government revenues through printing and dispensing of fake receipts.

“The board of trustees of this market therefore deem it necessary to raise concern and bring to the notice of relevant authorities these endemic atrocities that would never stop except by the governor’s intervention.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunday Obinze has denied that he was indicted, nor was he involved in the embezzlement of the said sum.

Obinze said he was aware that the members of board of trustees of the market were fighting him, but the fight was about his refusal to share monies belonging to the market among them.

“They are lying, since my election in 2015, they have been pestering me to share among them monies belonging to the market association, but I said no, and that is their main grouse.

“They are doing this because they know that our association is going to hold election soon, and they want to use this allegations to stop me, because they know I am popular among traders,” Obinze said.