People gather at Balogun market two days before Christmas in central Lagos December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

At least one person was injured yesterday in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State when officials of the state revenue task force known as Anambra Signage and Advertisement Agency, ANSAA, allegedly clashed with businessmen and traders along the old Market road, Onitsha over non payment of N5,000 signage fees.
Dr. Pat Manafa, the Proprietor of PATMAN Medical Laboratories who is visually impaired and whose office is located in the same building with The Sun Newspapers, directly opposite the Onitsha General Post Onitsha, sustained severe injury when he had a misunderstanding with the revenue officials and their leader who was identified as OlisaNdulue pushed him on the staircase and he hit his head on a pole.
The agency went on a dismantle spree of many sign posts along the road, demanding that any business man or trader who hung a signpost in front of his or her business area must pay N5,000 with an additional N2,000 as penalty, all together amounting to N7,000 per sign post for late payment.
It even took the efforts of some government officials who prevailed on the task force to spare the sign post of The Sun Newspapers and those of other newspaper offices, but with a mandate that the companies must pay their signage fees within a month or be prepared to have their sign posts dismantled by then.
The situation attracted the passersby, including some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and other newspaper free readers who threatened to attack the members of the task force when they saw blood flowing from Dr. Manafa’s injured head.
It took the efforts of two policemen that accompanied the task force to calm the situation and took the injured man upstairs of the laboratory for medical attention.
But the leader of the task force Mr. Ndulue when confronted denied injuring the Dr. Manafa by pushing him but noted that the man hit his head on the pole while trying to push him.
Justifying their action, task force leader, Ndulue insisted that demand notices were issued to all the businessmen within the area since February this year for the payment of signage fees, but they ignored the demand notices and still left their sign posts hanging, which prompted their revenue drive.
Reacting to the development, Dr. Manafa insisted that Ndulue pushed him while coming down from his office when he was inquiring from the task force members why they were removing his sign post without first of all seeking an audience with him on arrival.
He therefore called on Governor Willie Obiano to caution them against their brigand method of going about harassing people in the name of revenue generation.

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