Interstate restriction: FCTA taskforce arrests 27 Kogi, Edo-bound travellers hidden in trucks, impounds Dangote trucks

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The FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task Team on COVID-19 restriction arrested twenty seven (27) persons trying to make their way through the city to other parts of the country.

The apprehended travellers were said to have been hidden in Dangote trucks, conveying bags of rice and onions from Zaria in Kaduna.

Luck ran out of the travellers when men of the enforcement team insisted on seeing the content of the trucks.

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They were arraigned at the Zuba Mobile Court, where the presiding Magistrate, Ebiwari Damini convicted the driver, Olalekan  Wasiu and other passengers for violating the ban on interstate travelling imposed by President Buhari to contain spread of the deadly coronavirus. push({});

Unlike previous sentences, the magistrate who fined the driver five thousand Naira (N5,000) ruled that the Dangote company’s truck used to transport the violators be impounded until after the interstate travel restriction is lifted. He also ruled that those caught should be guided out of the FCT to the place of departure.

Speaking to journalists at Zuba after the judgement, Chairman of the FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task Team on Covid-19, Comrade Ikharo Attah, lauded the verdict by the magistrate, saying that it would deter violators of the interstate travel ban. 

“Now that the truck drivers know that whenever they are caught transporting people from one state to another, their trucks would not be released, they would stop such act”

Attah stated this and appealed to Nigerians “To be mindful of their health”, decrying that “A situation in which people are hidden in between bags of onions in trucks and covered with tarpoline, as it is in this case, is not good for their health. Some even hid on the floor of trucks carrying cattle, which is also not hygienic.”

Warning owners of the trucks to desist from aiding violation of the interstate ban, Attah said: “Management of Dangote company, who are the owners  of most of the trucks used for this illegal act must do all to ensure their trucks which are meant for haulage of goods are not converted to be illegally transporting persons from one state to another, thus violating the lockdown directive of the president”. 

Speaking while pleading for mercy, the driver of The Dangote truck, Olalekan Wasiu  admitted that after delivering items in Zaria, he was hired by someone to convey food items to Edo State, adding that he had to carry passengers to increase his profit. 

In a related developmen, a mobile court sitting at Dei-Dei also convicted two bus drivers who were coming from Minna, Niger State for violating the same travel ban. They were fined by the magistrate who also ruled that they be returned to Niger State where they came from.

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