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COVID-19: FCTA arrests 84 over travel ban violation

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has arrested 84 travellers who violated the inter-state travel ban.

The enforcement team of the FCTA also impounded a truck and six buses which were also conveying passengers.

Addressing journalists at Zuba in Abuja, Chairman of the FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task Team on COVID-19 Restrictions, Ikharo Attah, said, “Despite the directives by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, many seem determined to remain lawless. One wonders why these people are still travelling from state to state and in overloaded vehicles. “Despite the alarming increase in the number of inter-state violators, we of the FCTA will not relent in doing what we are directed to do by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. If we must contain this virus that is ravaging the world, citizens must close ranks with the government.”

He explained that 21 passengers were apprehended in a J5 bus travelling from Owo in Ondo State to Kano State.

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Also intercepted was a truck from Lagos to Jos with six passengers and a Toyota Hiace bus from Kaduna to Warri in Delta State with 13 passengers on board.

A Mazda bus travelling from Minna, Niger State to Nasarawa State with 16 passengers was also intercepted.

Six passengers in a Volkswagen Sharon bus from Kaduna to Kogi were arrested, as well as 14 passengers in a Toyota Hiace bus from Kaduna to Ankpa in Kogi.

City News learnt that the 84 offenders were arraigned at the Zuba mobile court where the Magistrate, Ebiwari Damini, convicted both the drivers and the passengers. While all the passengers, excluding minors, were fined N1,000 each, the drivers were fined between N3,000 and N5,000 each.

The magistrate ruled that the truck and three other buses be impounded by the FCTA until the COVID-19 pandemic is over and also ordered that three buses which passengers were largely women and children be turned back to where they were coming from.

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