The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has again warned members of the State Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks against meddling and unauthorized attempt to illegally influence the decisions of the mobile courts.
The governor at meeting with members of the task force at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Saturday, cautioned that members of the task force had no power to interfere with the work of magistrates attached to the mobile courts.
He said, “I don’t want to hear these negative reports again. You have no right to direct the magistrates on what they should do. Nobody has given you power to talk to the magistrates.
“Your duty is to arrest people and take them to the magistrates. It is left for the court to decide the matter based on the law. It is not for you to tell the magistrates what to do. You don’t have that power.”
The governor continued, “Events have shown that 70 per cent of you are doing things that are not right. You now allow illegal street traders to operate and you collect money.
“In some instances, you allow illegal motor parks to exist on our roads. That was not the case when you started operations. You must remember that nobody can be rich overnight.
“You have no right to open an account anywhere. If I decide to send you people home, you will start complaining. Several people are interested in carrying out these responsibilities.”
governor Wike however expressed sadness over the attitude of some of the officials of the task force and warned that if they failed to improve, he would take punitive measures against them.
He said, “This is the final time I will call you for a meeting. By the time I go round again and there is no improvement in your operations, I will send all of you packing.
“Even if you have worked towards the end of the month, I will not pay you. I will simply tell you to take whatever you have collected as part of your salary.
“People commended you when you started. But you are now engaged in some illegal activities. There are other people who are willing to work and I will not hesitate to engage fresh hands.’’