ABUJA- The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Task-team on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions on Friday arrested 74 persons travelling through the nation’s capital to other parts of the country.
The team, also impounded three buses, Presiding Magistrate at the Mobile Court in Zuba, Ebiwari Damini who convicted both the drivers and passengers also punished a driver who had been previously been convicted for violating the rules.
The Magistrate also ruled that two other buses be impounded in the FCT until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
In an interview with newsmen, the Chairman of the Taskteam, Comrade Ikharo Attah disclosed that his team had earlier arrested the bus driver, James Adegbe while travelling from Kaduna to Kogi state.
According to him, “He was arrested, arraigned, fined and returned to Kaduna state. He turned back that same night and still found his way to Kogi state. Today again he was arrested travelling with a bus-load of passengers from Lokoja to Kaduna. The Magistrate fined him N10,000 which is double of his previous fine. He also ruled that his vehicle be impounded at the AEPB Enforcement Head office at Area 3, Garki”, Attah explained.
He further stated that, those apprehended were travelling in two trucks and 7 seven other buses.
Attah , continued: “the FCT Administration, working closely with the security agencies will continue to ensure sustainability of the interstate travel ban as placed by the President and Commander in Chief. We are worried that the number of interstate travellers attempting to enter or pass through the FCT seems to be on the increase daily.”
He, therefore, called on state governments, “to tighten their own end by ensuring interstate travellers are not allowed to move with ease”.
“Sadly, some of those arrested here do not seem to understand why we are arresting them. This, I believe is because they now see it as normal because of where they are coming from. This is a Presidential Order and we must obey it to the letter until the ban is lifted”.
Among those arrested were 17 passengers who were travelling on a Trailer from Warri in Delta state to Zaria in Kaduna state.
Also arrested were nine passengers in a Hyundai Bus from Gwagwalada to Katsina, and a Trailer going from Aba to Kano state with six passengers. A Hummer bus with 18 passengers from Warri to Zaria and another Hummer bus with 10 passengers from gwagwalada to Ibadan.