By Augustine Aminu, Abuja
African Arts & Culture Heritage Association, AACHA, has expressed displeasure over continuous harassment, locking of shops and false accusation of its members over the years, saying that members of the association are not criminals as claimed by the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Mr. Otumba Olusegun Runsewe.
President of AACHA, Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, debunked allegations that the craft village was a den of criminals, adding that no criminal activity has ever taken place by members of the association.
Chukwumezie, therefore challenged Runsewe to announce to the world the shops he saw the gun and marijuana he claimed to have gotten from the shops in craft village.
President of AACHA noted that on many occasions, the DG storms the craft village with armed policemen to carry out search of their shops, claiming that members of the association keep guns in their shops.
He disclosed that closure of the shops in craft village in Abuja, the association has lost over five of its members probably because they have no means of livelihood any longer.
According to him, “The last order that he should be put in prison for violating the order of the court needs to be enforced because we also have another court order he violated and which process is still ongoing. He should be used to set an example that our courts orders are not are not just mere barking of toothless bulldogs”
It was reported that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, jailed the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, for contempt of court.
Justice Jude Okeke in a ruling ordered the Inspector-General of Police to arrest him and hand him over to the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS, in Kuje, Abuja.
Chukwumezie recalled that even when their shops were illegally locked up, members were forced to pay all the arrears of rent, “On Friday 15th December, 2017, our shops mysteriously got burnt immediately after over 90% of us paid rent into private accounts he forced us to pay into against our insisting on TSA account”
Members of AACHA were allocated the crafts village in 2007 under the administration of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, with Social Development Secretariat, SDS, directly supervising it.