One person was reportedly crushed to death and three others sustained various degrees of injuries Tuesday, last week, at the notorious Upper Iweka axis in Onitsha, Anambra state, when emblem revenue agents and a tipper driver, Mr. Chukwudubem Ifesinachi, engaged in a bloody clash.
According to an eyewitness who identified himself as Onyeji, trouble started when the tipper driver was coming from the Bridgehead end of the River Niger.
He said in getting to Upper Iweka, one of about five emblem revenue agents, mounted the tipper lorry that was laden with sand and demanded from the driver, the receipt for the payment for the emblem for one year”.
He said the driver told him that he had the receipts but had not placed them on the windscreen for easy identification.
The eyewitness alleged that the revenue agent demanded a kickback, but the driver refused, then the revenue agent forced his hand into the pigeonhole to collect money and the driver pushed him down.
The eyewitness said the revenue man mounted the tipper again and started struggling for the steering with the driver, and while the vehicle was descending, both of them fell off the tipper.
According to him, the vehicle was then out of control, the band ran over a driver working with one of the popular transport companies who was crossing to the other side of the expressway after repairing his tyres.
The tipper lorry also hit a commuter bus and a 40-foot container”.
Onyeji revealed that about three of the occupants of the bus sustained injuries but thanked God that they escaped death by the whiskers.
The witness added that, while the tipper driver and the revenue agent were still fighting, colleagues of the revenue agent rushed and hit the driver with clubs, planks and took away their injured colleague in a tricycle, abandoning the tipper driver.
Sympathizers and angry youths reportedly rushed to the scene to mob the revenue agents but got annoyed when they were told that the agents had fled.
They appealed to the government to check what they called multiple taxations and to enforce unified receipt for all road revenue collections to help stop touting.
They also requested that compensation be paid to the family if the bus driver who lost his life during the face-off.
Confirming the incident, a senior police officer at Awada police station where the case was lodged, who pleaded anonymity, said the corpse of the unfortunate passer-by driver was deposited at a nearby hospital.