Luck ran out on a gang of illegal checkpoint operators at Abinsi, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday, October 24, 2021, when Governor Samuel Ortom busted their operations.
Governor Ortom’s attention was drawn to the activities of the illegal revenue operators when he noticed the harassment of heavy-duty vehicles detained at the checkpoint on his way from Kwande Local Government.
He ordered his convoy to stop and find out why many vehicles were parked at the checkpoint.
As soon as he alighted from his car, some of the youths at the checkpoint took to their heels. He discovered, during an interaction with drivers of the vehicles, that the checkpoint operators were collecting money from motorists without issuing them receipts, a development that prompted the Governor to order the arrest of four of the operators who could not run.
The Governor directed that those who fled should also be apprehended and thoroughly investigated alongside the four suspects to unravel benefactors of the proceeds from their illegal collections.
He explained that within a very short time, the checkpoint operators collected more than N20,000 from the commuters without issuing them receipts.
Governor Ortom lamented that despite the collections, nothing goes to the government as such monies are diverted into private pockets for individual use.
He vowed to sanction the management of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, for failure to supervise and ensure the right thing was done.
Governor Ortom said he will henceforth, personally carry out surprise checks on the activities of checkpoint operators in the state.
The four suspects were then handed over to the Police for further investigation.