Over 39 illegal checkpoint operators and fake tax collectors have been apprehended by the Benue Internally Revenue Service, BIRS, for mounting barricades on highways to extort truck drivers and traders.
The Executive Chairman of BIRS, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi who made this known Tuesday in Makurdi lamented that the menace of the hoodlums, who she said were enjoying the backing of some bad eggs in the military and police force, had become a source of worry for the Board and the state government.
Mrs. Adzape-Orubibi who explained that the arrests were made in the last three months insisted that the hoodlums should be charged for robbery.
“They should not be charged for mounting illegal checkpoints, they should be charged for armed robbery because they forcefully take money away from the people after barricading the roads while fully armed with any kind of weapon to harass their victims.
“It will interest you to know that my predecessor charged 88 to court, since I came, 39 more have been charged within three months.
“The painful part of it is that the police and military personnel are aiding and abetting these hoodlums and I have had course to speak with them on that matter.
“If you are going to Kwande Local Government Area, by the Ushongo axis you will see the police and also see the illegal tax collectors. Whenever you see these illegal checkpoints, police personnel are not far from them.
“Sometimes they stand with them (the illegal tax collectors) collecting the money. So it is something that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, has to look into it.
“The new Police Commissioner has started well, we pray that the tempo he came with will be sustained because he told me that by tomorrow he would be going on tour to check what is going on.”