Fred Itua, Abuja
A popular Islamic cleric (full name withheld) was arrested on Sunday in the Wuye district of Abuja for violating the presidential lockdown order in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), aimed at curtailing the further spread of COVID-19 in Abuja.
Chairman of the FCT Administrations enforcement team, Ikharo Attah, while making this disclosure during a media chat, added that his men also impounded more than 269 vehicles for violating the presidential stay-at-home order in the nation’s capital.
Ikharo explained: “Early this morning we commenced an operation following so many calls from residents that the Christ Embassy Church in Durumi was preaching. We went there and discovered that it wasn’t true, but the pastor was inside the church with some cameramen and some production crew.
“We found out that they were doing their stream online, but the generating set was on. That was the noise they heard that they concluded that it was a church service.
“We then proceeded to other areas around town. We got to Area 1 Roundabout, where a particular man was arrested with four military caps. He put one Army cap in his boot, then another one for Nigeria Airforce, as well as two other ones for Nigeria Navy, all in one vehicle. We took and handed him over to the FCT commissioner of police.
“Then we also had another case of a man whose vehicle was taken to VIO office in Area 1, and immediately he decided to strip himself naked, removed all his clothes in protest that he must work, that he did not believe in the existence of Coronavirus.
“We then moved to the mosque at Wuye district, because we had gotten several complaints that the man (Imam) had worship on Friday. But that Friday, we were at Kuje, so we could not have come back within five minutes. When we got there today and invited him to come and explain; and we cautioned him at the FCT Police Command, Garki.
On why his team arrested a Turk and an Angolan during the exercise, he said: “We arrested two foreigners at Glo Junction for violating the president’s order, going out without permit. One of them is from Turkey, while the other is from Angola. They were taken to the Maitama Police Division.”
He revealed that his men impounded more than 269 vehicles from violators of the lockdown directive, even as he warned the residents, particularly non-uniformed personnel and diplomats against breaking this important and life-saving law.
In the first week of the lockdown, a pastor was equally invited to the FCT Police Command for violating the directive, where he was cautioned and released.