A letter from a distressed car owner addressed to the Honourable Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Amachree has exposed to the general public, the several ways the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority, TIMARIV, tortures car owners.
The letter dated, May 13, 2012, written by Nyoryor Nicholas Nebari, titled, “Report of Mental Torture and Fraudulent Process Arising from the Seizure of My Mercedes Car No CL 911 PHC by TIMARIV”, gave a graphic detail with photocopies of receipts attached, of how the traffic management organ, has turned itself into a terror organization and a law unto itself, if the allegations contained in the letter are true (see letter).
TIMARIV, headed by Dr. Nelson Jaja was formed to solve the chaotic traffic situation within Port Harcourt metropolis, caused by the undesirable attitude of some drivers.
However, the public has on several occasions cried out over the high-handed attitude of the officials of the TIMARIV.
Mr. Nebari alleged that his car was towed away by officials of TIMARIV at Mile One Bus Stop without his knowledge on March 30, 2012, as he parked and entered the market to purchase an umbrella, because it was raining.
Thinking that his precious car has been stolen, the gentlemen wailed in agony until a good Samaritan informed him of the ugly episode.
Fortunately for him, he later saw the car parked at the premises of TIMARIV at Moscow Road, where his mental torture began.
Mr. Nebari was given names of four different banks to pay various sums into, as if the efficiency of a driver depends on the several banks he has to patronize, after which the issue of demurrage ensued, even when delays were caused by them.
He was later made to undergo a ‘training’ where he was made to pay extra amount, after paying for the training to TIMARIV, without any lecture material given.
Mr. Nebari admitted that His Excellency, the governor of Rivers State had good intentions in setting up TIMARIV, but observed that the officials are taking the law into their hands.
He is pleading for compensation for being deprived of access to his vehicle for 42 days, as at the date of writing the petition to the RSHA.
He informed The Newswriter that his car was released to him on Tuesday May 15, 2012.
Several calls to Dr. Nelson Jaja, head of TIMARIV to ascertain the veracity of the allegations proved abortive.
A female official of TIMARIV when called, refused to comment on the issue, insisting that the reporter must disclose the name of who gave out her number before she would comment.
Mr. Nebari has earlier alleged that officials of TIMARIV always shy away from giving out their phone numbers.
13Th MAY, 2012.
THE HON. SPRAKFR
RIVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
HON. AZUBIKE NWANJOKU
REPORT OF MENTAL TORTURE AND FRAUDULENT PROCESS ARISING FROM THE SEIZURE OF MY MERCEDES CAR NO CL 911 PHC BY TIMA-RIV
I have been compelled to report to the Rivers State House of Assembly through the honourable speaker of the ordeal and mental torture and fraudulent process instituted by the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority alias TIMA-RIV.
On the 30th of March, 2012 1 stopped my vehicle at the arch by the Mile one Bus stop at about 5.20 pm to pick an umbrella in the market because 1 was threatening to rain. When I came out of the market it was already raining, and us I got to where I packed my car it was not seen, I wept seriously thinking that my car is stolen.
It was in course of my crying that a lady who was plaiting hairs behind the bus stop walked up to me and said that the vehicle was towed by men in Yellow or orange colour uniform. Confused, I immediately hired a commercial taxi at about 6.40 p.m and went round the whole of Port Harcourt in search of my vehicle. At 8.35 p.m I saw the car at the premises of the TIMARIV at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt. Every effort to secure the release of my car that night failed. One Mr., Titus the commercial driver I hired that day is available to make oral testimony
On Monday 2nd April, 2012 I went back to TIMA-RIV office where I was given docket accompanied by payingslip for payments into the following banks.
On the 23rd April, 2012 another payment voucher in favour of Zenith bank in the sum of N11,500 was issued to me as payment for demurrage for the number of days the vehicle has remain in their custody. I paid in all these monies into the designated banks ( photocopies of relevant slips are attached herewith)
Believing that the matter was over, I went back on the 27th of April, 291 2 to secure release of’ the vehicle only to he given another demurrage charge of NI .500. I went to the bank to pay but before I came back the booking officer has close and was asked again to come back on the Monday. When I came the Monday, the third demurrage of N 1,500 was also imposed on me which also paid. This brings the total demurrage payment to NI4,500;
After making the whole payment I was told that until I attend the one day training my vehicle cannot be given or released to me. I also obeyed and went to AA Rescue at No 96-98 Olu Obansanjo Road, Port Harcourt. Before I was allowed entry into the lecture hall I paid another N8,000 again for training. When I told them that I have already paid N4,000 to TIMA-Riv account for the training, I was told that their own administration is different from that of TIMA-Riv. The shocking thing is that AA Rescue you are given 50 multiple choice questions in faint-print to answer after which you watch a TV driving for about an hour before you are given a skeletal lecture brief on traffic codes. I left the lecture without any materials apart from the payment receipt and form to be returned to TIMARIV office.
On the 30th of April, 2012 1 presented myself again before the officers at Moscow Road where another dimension to the problem ensued. This time I was told that my docket with the whole payment slips could not be found, alleging that it may be at their headquarters. I went there but received more humiliation and resistance by men on duty, as several attempts made to their boss failed.
When at last I was told that the docket has been found , I was told that until confirmation is made of all the lodgments, especially the payment of N25,000 of towing charge paid into fidelity bank that I cannot get my car. I decided to go to the hank to secure the confirmation. The bank issued me a clearance notice addressed to one Eze, but every effort to see the Eze was resisted.
Apparently frustrated again and considering the discomfort which me and my family has suffered hiring vehicle I decided to leave their office and told them to inform me any day they are through with their processes. I went to Love Fm, to appeal to their boss to order his men to release my vehicle to me.
Hon speaker sir, I am therefore making the following plea
1. That the powers conferred on TlMARIV be revisited to bring in more sanity in their operations
2. TIMA RIV be called to order on the way and manner they tow people’s car without any information because their towing amounts to stealing.
3. TIMARIV should pay me compensation for depriving me access to my vehicle for the past 42 days today.
4. Defaulters should he made to pay money into one bank, not several banks as is presently been operated.
5. My vehicle be released to me with an apology from Tima-Riv
6. TimaRiv officers be accessible. If Govemor Amaechi could be reached, I see no reason why the boss of Tima-Riv could he barricaded with his chains of ill-mannered and touty soldier-ant office
7. The sum of N4,000 paid to Tima-riv for training not given be refunded to me
His Excellency may have good intention for setting up the organization called TimaRiv but the operators of the scheme are working at variance with this scheme. Absolute power corrupts absolutely
NYORYOR, NICHOLAS N.