ESWAMA (MY EXPERIENCE)
August 9, 2018 at 1:27 pm #19496
ESWAMA, THE MOST DREADED REVENUE BODY IN ENUGU STATE!
It’s funny how the people of Enugu state are being manipulated and Intimidated by the Revenue bodies known in Enugu, especially ESWAMA task force teams. I would not believe this if I had not had the experience.
In the early morning of the 15th day of November 2016, after a hectic night on the 14th of November, which was the night for the opening night party of our cooperate guest house located at Plot 145 Ihe street Oneday, off Agbani Road, Enugu,while me and my colleagues were busy tiding the compound of our guest house, we had about six young men walk into the guest house premises all on an orange Coloured task force jacket branded “ESWAMA”, and a dark-in-complexion guy who claimed to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force. I wonder when members of the Nigeria Police Force started wearing black uniforms that has not their name engraved on the top-right of the uniform. On meeting the young man by name Tochukwu, sweeping the compound, they asked to speak with any staff of the guest house. Tochukwu, naive of who they are, presented himself as a staff of the guest house. They quickly requested for thepayment receiptfor ESWAMA for the year 2012, 2013 and 2014. Tochukwu made it clear to them that we were new and did not know if such has been paid. This was strange as none of us have heard of ESWAMA prior that time.Inour hesitation to provide the receipt as they requested, Tochukwu was abruptly ordered into the yellow commercialbus in which they came.He was never given the chance to contact the manager or his superior in the guest house.In a lackadaisical manner,one of them whom we assumed is the head of the team) said that we would pay over N240000 if they take Tochukwu to their office but that they are willing to release him right there if we offer them the sum of N40000 being N30000 and N10000 as PR(Penalty Rate) and fuel allowance respectively which we declined as they furiously drove away with Tochukwu in the bus. I followed them in another vehicle as advised by the neigbours present.
On getting to their office, the six men team was reduced to two as others alighted just before the ESWAMA office gate.What does this mean? I asked.The driver of the vehicle painfully made a statement saying “this is what we have been suffering in Enugu for years now”. When I entered their office, I could not believe what I saw. Many people were arrested for the same reason. Amongst these people were men and women(Including large scale and small scale traders as they explained).There was no one to speak for them. Some acted desperately as they sort their way out of the bondage of ESWAMA.Many were crying, while some who are already used to the INTIMIDATION were calmly waiting for the next episode in line.I was asked to go and meet their cashier and receptionist. After standing for about 15 minutes waiting for them, they picked up an A4 paper out of the pack of A4 papers on their desk, address it and handed it over to me. I was shocked because the A4 paper was bearing the same write up as the ones on their desk which had no address. I guessed right, this was photocopied. I quickly looked into the paper and it was a photocopied court summon which stated that we owe ESWAMA for the year 2012, 2013 and 2014 which amounted to over N720000, exclusive of the penalty rate.They practically forged that, photocopied it and use it to steal from people.
What have the poor masses done wrong? Is it a crime to move to Enugu to start up a business? Only GOD knows how many investors this has scared away from Enugu. Report has it that the building(the guest house) in question was under construction during the first year they stated on the court summon.As this was going on, I took a glance on a booklet on their desk. The top leave of that booklet was titled “DEMAND NOTICE”.After a quick glance on the booklet, I realized the type of people I was dealing with. I was able to know the things I never knew. We never received any demand notice from ESWAMA.
Please, hear me out!
By right, residents of Enugu has two (2) weeks to pay the stipulated amount of money stated on the demand notice issued to them individually by ESWAMA.What! This was stated on the demand notice? Why then did they arrest Tochukwu when they had not issued us any demand notice? This argument lingered for some time as we struggled to get my colleague out.
It never ended in their office!
As at 4pm, they started taken the people they arrested to the ESWAMA court which was located not too far behind their office. I was happy because I thought it would be the best platform to lawfully get Tochukwu out of the bondage.
It was at the court that I realized that They (ESWAMA), does not only manipulate and intimate people, they also deceive people in the law court. People should be granted bail if they plea “NOT GUILTY”,may be with a little token. But the so called ESWAMA members deceived people by telling them that they would be free if they plea “GUILTY”and people, out of ignorance falls to their mind game and this turns out hurting them as they were never released.
What happened next?
Tochukwu and many others were arrested even after they pleaded “NOT GUILTY”.I could not imagine Tochukwu being taken to the police cell alongside others where he spent almost one week while we struggled to pay ESWAMA the sum of N102000 as negotiated.Share this topic