Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government has arrested 22 traders entering the state from neighbouring Abia State, for contravening border closure.
The traders, who were arrested yesterday, in three different sets, said they live in Anambra and Abia states, but usually do business in Rivers.
They claimed they were not aware the lockdown was that serious in Rivers, because in their respective states, traders were allowed to move around.
The female traders were conveyed in a container to conceal their movement into the state. The driver said he opened one of the container doors for the traders to get ventilation.
Commissioner for Health, Chike Princewill, said the 22 traders would be screened to ascertain their coronavirus status.
He said the screening was vital to ensure they did not infect the state. The commissioner said his ministry has stationed medical personnel to carry out the responsibility.
Princewill said after the screening, the traders would be tried in line with the extant laws in place to protect Rivers people.
He said it was embarrassing that a transporter would convey human beings in a container just to beat the law.
The accused persons were later tried in a Magistrate Court assigned for that purpose by the state chief judge.