The Vehicle Inspection Unit of the Rivers State Ministry of Transport is now entangled in bribing and corruption. In the past three (3) months our team of correspondents was investigating the activities of the Vehicle Inspection Unit of the Transport Ministry as regards the harassment and molestation of both private and commercial motorists in Port Harcourt and its environs.
After carrying out an intensive investigation of the activities of some officers attached to the Vehicle Inspection Unit, with field office at Rivers Marine Transport Premises at Marine Base, Port Harcourt, our team of correspondents reports that the Vehicle Inspection Officer V1O, and his deputy, one Mr. Samson have badly soiled the unit with their bad and fraudulent attitude in recruiting cultists, area boys, and touts to intimidate and arrest motorists without any cogent reason.
The recruited bunch of cult boys, the V1O adorned them with the popular Vehicle Inspection Officers uniform of black trousers, white shirts and black berets.
According to the report, these “uniform men” position themselves in strategic locations in the city particularly in areas of slow moving vehicular traffic or near Police or Federal Road safety check point, adding that their targets are not rickety and unroad worthy commercial taxis and buses without head lamps, wipers, worn out tires and belching soot but fairly used clean cars with women at the steering wheels, and their popular refrain is to check for road worthiness certificates, which they always brand to be forgeries.
Our investigation revealed that any driver, who accompanies these hoodlums to their field office at Marine Base, would be forced to give bribe else the vehicle will be detained.
Thereafter, follow a motley of charges and fines running into thirty or forty thousand naira, which include, gate pass of N500.00, police escort of N5,000, towing fee of N10,000, impoundment fee of N8,000, parking fee of N2,5000.
The field office of the Vehicle Inspection Unit of the Rivers State Ministry of Transport is a world of its own, peopled by various classes of area touts, thugs and cultists, using dangerous weapons.
Attempt by any driver to follow a “Vehicle Unit Inspection Officer’ to the field office at Marine base, upon arrival, instead of verifying that the road worthiness certificates will proceed to deflate the four (4) tires of the car of the helpless victim.
Then negotiation will commence and a lucky victim will escape with paying N20,000 which is never receipted. From our investigation no payment is made into the Rivers State Government Treasury or the Ministry of Transport designated account No 1010161134 with Zenith Bank Plc.
The Newswriter gathered that at the close of the day’s work, the VIO, his deputy Samson and the area boys, touts and cultists will allegedly divide the money illegal collected from innocent drivers and return home happily.
What is not certain in this unholy enterprise is whether the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and the Commissioner are part of this dirty deal.
Motorists who spoke to our reporter slammed Dagogo Fubara the commissioner for not taking drastic action against the VIO harassing innocent road users without any consequences.
They called on Governor Nyesom Wike to come to their aid, alleging that the commissioner is in sensitive to their plights. The motorists further appealed to Governor Wike to constitute a probe panel to investigate the activities of the Vehicle Inspection Unit in the state Ministry of Transport.
All efforts to contact, the Commissioner, VIO and his deputy proved abortive as at the time of going to the press.###