By Martin Iyonguvihi
Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) in collaboration with other security agencies, recently dismantled several illegal roadblocks across major highways in Benue State and arrested five notorious illegal tax revenue collectors.
In a clearance operation led by the acting chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Agema and other security agencies, five suspects were arrested within three locations in Ushongo and Vandeikya Local Government Areas.
The taskforce on illegal road blocks is constituted by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
According to a statement signed and made available to The Voice by the Media Assistant to the Ag. Executive Chairman of BIRS, Jacintha Benard, the Chairman has vowed to sustain the fight against operators of illegal check points until the menace is totally eradicated.
The statement read in part; “In a follow-up to the multiple operations against illegal roadblocks across Benue State by the Taskforce constituted by Governor Hyacinth Alia, the Acting Executive Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, Emmanuel Agema, , over the weekend led security agents on a clearance patrol across major highways in the state.
The combined team, comprising operatives of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps arrested five (5) notorious culprits at three locations in Ushongo and Vandeikya Local Government Areas.
“At one of the locations, Akerior in Ushongo, the security operatives discovered a nearby house where the touts rented a room and were using as their operating base.
“Cooking items, clothes, mosquito net, a register and receipt booklets bearing “BENUE ASSOCIATES OF TIV BERANDA CO” among other items were found there and confiscated.
“The checkpoints were also dismantled and destroyed, while those arrested are to be prosecuted accordingly.
“The Chairman noted during the exercise that as much as the Taskforce on illegal roadblocks had recorded huge successes during their exercise, there are still pockets of such checkpoints in operation by some notorious criminals, hence his decision to lead the clearance exercise, which he promised will be sustained until the menace is totally eradicated.
“The Chairman further called on all stakeholders in the state, including traditional and community leaders, youth associations and the general public to discourage and expose the unrepentant criminals in their communities.