Imo State Government says it has arrested some hoodlums who impounded about 50 trucks conveying essential food items and medicament through the state.
It was reported that the culprits had said they were acting on behalf of the state government.
They were reported to have collected N50,000 from each of the trucks as a condition for allowing them to pass though the state.
In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, the state government said the gang of thugs, who perpetrated the illegal act tried to cash in on the COVID-19 lockdown in the state to impose illegal levies on unsuspecting haulage operators.
The commissioner said that the governor’s executive order on lockdown and curfew clearly exempted those on essential duties which include trucks conveying food and beverages.
“Some hoodlums who tried to take advantage of this, formed themselves into an illegal taskforce to extort money from truck drivers and claimed falsely to be agents of government,” he said. According to Emelumba, “When the situation was brought to the attention of Governor Hope Uzodimma, he directed the Commissioner for Transport, Barr. Rex Anunobi to go with security operatives and disperse the hoodlums which he did with dispatch and some of the thugs were arrested.”
While expressing regret over the situation, Emelumba assured that all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that such an ugly situation does not repeat itself.