Nasarawa Police Arrest Govt Officials for Violating Restriction Orders


By Igbawase Ukumba

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Nigeria Police in Nasarawa State has arrested two top officials of the state government for allegedly breaking the order of social distancing.

THISDAY gathered that one of the officials got married in a lavish and well-attended ceremony amid strict COVID-19 lockdown.

However, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and another politician, who also attended the marriage ceremony against the state government order, were said to be on the run.

The two officials of the state government were picked at the venue of the ceremony by the police in Lafia, where the security agencies felt they were going against the state social distancing rules to flatten the curve of coronavirus spread.

The two officials who spent the night in police detention are to be charged to court to serve as deterrent to others who may want to disobey government directives.

An officer at the CID in Lafia, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to do so, said the action of the two government officials violated movement restriction order put in place by the state government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state where gathering of more than 20 people have been banned.

THISDAY saw the two government officials detained behind the counter where their handsets were seized and communication with sympathisers banned by the officer in charge.

It was also gathered that all their frantic efforts to get in touch with the governor to direct their release failed as the governor was said to have insisted that the full wrath of the law must take its course.

It was equally gathered that the police have begun intense search for the whereabouts of the two other politicians for arrest and detention hence they have since gone into hiding.

The state governor had suspended all marriage and naming ceremonies in addition to banning all social gatherings in the state.

“Where it has become necessary to hold such ceremonies, attendance should be restricted to members of the immediate family of not more than 20 people,” the governor had directed.

The state commissioner of police, Bola Longe, who confirmed the arrest while speaking with journalists in his official residence in Lafia yesterday, said the two officials would be prosecuted for violating the social distancing order of the state government.

He said the police are working hard to arrest all those who attended the marriage ceremony as identified in the pictures of the wedding for prosecution.