The Federal Capital Territory Administration’s (FCTA) Ministerial Task Team on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions has arrested 74 persons travelling through the city to other parts of the country.
The Chairman of the task team, Mr Ikharo Attah, made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
Attah also revealed that the team had earlier arrested a bus driver, James Adegbe while travelling from Kaduna to Kogi state.
“Among those arrested are 17 passengers who were travelling on a Trailer from Warri in Delta state to Zaria in Kaduna state.
“Nine passengers in a Hyundai Bus going from Gwagwalada to Katsina, and a Trailer going from Aba to Kano state with six passengers were also arrested.
“Also, a Hummer bus with 18 passengers from Warri to Zaria and another Hummer bus with 10 passengers from gwagwalada to Ibadan,” Attah said.
He said that the team had also impounded three buses, adding that Presiding Magistrate at the Mobile Court in Zuba, Ebiwari Damini, convicted both the drivers and the passengers.
Attah said that the magistrate also punished a driver who had been previously convicted for violating the rules.
According to him, the Magistrate ruled that two other buses be impounded in the FCT until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
“The driver 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 Abuja Environment Protection Board Enforcement Head office at Area 3, Garki”, Attah explained.
According to him, those apprehended were travelling in two trucks and seven other buses.
Attah said that the FCT Administration was working closely with the security agencies to ensure sustainability of the interstate travel ban as placed by the President and Commander in Chief.
He said that the administration was worried that the number of interstate travelers 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,” Attah said. (NAN)