A suspected illegal revenue collector, Mr. Sunday Ogbonna has told a mobile court in Onitsha, Anambra state that he engaged in diverting government revenue to enable him take care of his newborn baby and wife.
Ogbonna was discharged and acquitted by the mobile court for his honesty and showing genuine remorse before the court.
Pleading guilty to the charges against him, Ogbonna narrated how he was apprehended at Oba road junction while loading and offloading as well as selling illegal tickets.
He said, “I sincerely thank the court for granting me freedom despite my crime. It was only on January 11 that my wife put to bed and things were very difficult for me.
“I started selling fake tickets to be able to raise money to feed my family.”
While promising never to go back to the illegal business again, Ogbonna pledged to assist the government check the ugly trend by exposing other fake revenue agents.
The Court also granted bail to eleven others alleged of engaging in the issuance of fake and illegal tickets, illegal loading and offloading at unapproved points, among others.
The individuals were arraigned before the mobile court at Terminal “A” park, Upper Iweka, Onitsha by the state government, following renewed efforts at ridding the state of all kinds of touting and extortion activities.
They were earlier arrested by the State Ministry of Transport and FIAT, an anti-Touting set up by the State government to ensure that only the authorized agents were allowed to collect toll and levies on behalf of the government.
Some of the suspects who were granted bail though after pleading guilty included Kenneth Chimezie, Onyeka Mmadumenya and Tochukwu Molu.
Others who pleaded not guilty were Nonso Obi, Ejike Igwuibe, Nwamma Joshua, Chika Okafor, Chidiebere Samuel, Nwafor Sunday, Ayo Oma and Joseph Ogochukwu.
They were also granted bail with the clause of N50,000 each, surety with certified identity cards, affidavit of livelihood and two passport photographs.
Three of the suspects were later taken back to the Onitsha Correctional Centre until they were able to provide a reliable surety with the listed requirements.
Counsels to the defendants, Messers Samuel Egbuna, EI Nzekwe, Somtochukwu Aliba and Victor Alor who appealed for the bail of their defendants, noted that it is a bailable offence under Section 36 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The case was later adjourned to January 28 for hearing.