COVID 19: Clergymen arraigned for holding service

Kaduna State Government revealed that security agents  have arrested two people  for  church service last Sunday, in violation of the lockdown order.

A statement issued by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan on Tuesday, said that one Ifeanyi Ojonu and Giniki Okafor held church service at Sabon Tasha area of Chikun Local Government.

 The statement further said that the suspects have been  arraigned a Chief Magistrate Court on Monday, 6th April, 2020.

According to the commissioner,  the suspects were charged  with ‘’Criminal Conspiracy and Disobedience to an Order duly promulgated by a Public Servant, section 59 and 115 of the Penal Code.’’

Aruwan    reiterated  that nobody is above the law and everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, said that ‘’the Quarantine Law will be applied  without fear or favour,  until the lockdown is duly lifted.’’

The commissioner  recalled that some Muslim clerics held congregational prayers on March 27th, 2020, at Unguwar Kanawa and Malali areas of Kaduna North Local Government.

‘’They were promptly arrested  and subsequently arraigned a Chief Magistrate Court on March 30th, 2020, to demonstrate Government’s determination to prosecute violators of the Quarantine Law,’’ he said.

According to him, the two accused   clergymen apparently mis-read Government’s strong signal, as they flouted the law and disobeyed the of various leaders of faith, by church service last Sunday. 

The statement  commended  religious and traditional rulers for sensitizing followers about the dangers of COVID-19, by asking them to obey the lockdown order as a religious obligation. 

The Commissioner maintained that  the religious community substantially complied with the lockdown as Muslim daily congregational prayers, including Jumma’at  prayers, have been suspended, adding that  church services have also not been held.

Aruwan  however advised residents to report  any infringement of fundamental human rights by either security agents or government officials,  by calling these dedicated telephone numbers (09034000060, 08170189999)  to complain.