No fewer than 50 persons were arrested by operatives of Edo State Police Command on last Thursday, for alleged involvement in illegal tax collection.
The suspects who are currently being detained at the Police Command headquarters in Benin, were said to have been picked up at different locations in Benin City, for flouting the directive of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, banning illegal tax collection in the State.
This was made known Friday evening in Benin, the State capital, by Mr. Taiwo Akerele, the Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, at the end-of-the-year party of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council.
He said in line with Governor Obaseki’s determination to weed out illegal tax collectors, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, has set up a 20-man squad to mop them up and to ensure total compliance with the directive.
It would be recalled that in his State-wide broadcast on January 1, Governor Obaseki announced prohibition of tax collection by private individuals contracted by the administration of immediate past Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Speaking further on activities of the State Government, Akerele who stood in for Governor Obaseki as the Special Guest of honour at the occasion, assured that the Governor is determined to actualise his campaign promise of creating 200,000 jobs during his four years in office through private investors in the agricultural, mining and other sectors.
He noted that Edo’s strategic location which links to the north, east, south and western parts of the country, places it in good position to become the economic hub of the nation.
Akerele who lauded journalists in the State for being fearless and hardworking, also noted that they never failed to get government’s side of their reports, whenever necessary.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ativie, lauded journalists for their bravery and doggedness, even in the face of intimidation and harassment.
Ativie promised to always stand by the journalists and do everything possible to contribute to their success and wellness.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Chairman of the NUJ, Sir Roland Osakue, said 2016 was tasking for journalists in Edo as it as full of activities.