Seven persons were yesterday arrested by security operatives in Anambra State for violating laws for structural development and assaulting officials of the State Planning Board (ANSPPB) on-demand duty.
The persons were arrested at Oba and Ojoto communities in Idemili South Council Area, where it was gathered that some developers had refused to obtain the necessary permits from the ANSPPB for their structural developments.
When they were accosted by officials of the Board, they mobilized their workers and mercilessly beat them up, inflicting serious body injuries on them and destroying their property.
As a result, the ANSPPB had led a joint taskforce comprising its officials and security agents in the state to the sites and arrested some of the workers.
The agency also during the exercise, led an operation to recover government-owned lands in Isuaniocha, Awka North local government area of the state.
The land totalling over five acres originally belongs to Community Secondary School, Isuaniocha, but has been illegally distributed and sold.
When a joint government task force, spearheaded by officials of Anambra State Physical Planning Board visited the area, it was discovered that illegal developers are already occupying most parts of the land as various degrees of structures had been erected.
The lands with structures were marked for removal by the board officials.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barrister Chike Maduekwe who led officials to the area, wondered why developers build without making an adequate enquiry about the genuineness of land before purchasing.
According to Barrister Maduekwe, a lot of impunity is being perpetuated by many developers in the state, stressing that the board is resolved to deal with recalcitrant developers according to law.
“What we see is that people because of their wealth, think they can conveniently flout government directives and get away with it. That is what the administration of Chief Willie Obiano has vowed to stop in Anambra State and that is why this joint task force is on this operation today. Our people have to learn to obey the law especially in structural development activities because if they get it wrong, they will be endangering the lives of many other people,” Maduekwe said.
He called on intending developers to always obtain a government building permit for any development to avoid government sanction, stressing that the exercise would be extended to different parts of the state in the coming days.