COVID-19 Lockdown: FG to arrest, prosecute users of fake exemption pass, tags in FCT, others



By Chimezie Godfrey

The Federal government has said that printers and users of fake vehicle exemption pass which facilitates movement during this lockdown will be arrested and prosecuted.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq in a statement on Saturday, revealed that some nefarious elements have forged and printed replicas of the pass for vehicles and tags for personnel which they sell to individuals who are bent on violating the lockdown order President Buhari, especially in the FCT.

Farouq lamented that the exemption pass which is meant to facilitate movement of emergency personnel and providers of essential services during the current lockdown aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic have been abused by some criminal elements.

“It has come to our attention that some nefarious elements have forged and printed replicas of the pass for vehicles and tags for personnel which they sell to individuals who are bent on violating the lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, especially in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. 

“Some  individuals have been using forged Covid-19 exemption pass to deceive security agents charged with the responsibility of enforcing the lockdown order which is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. 

“The lockdown is aimed at stopping spreading the virus through community infection in Nigeria which had grave consequences in other countries,” Farouq noted.

The Minister strongly urged members of the public to obey government directives, respect the law  and protect themselves against Coronavirus infection by shunning those forging documents to facilitate unnecessary movements. 

It can be recalled that the  Federal Capital Territory Police Command has disclosed that since the start of the lockdown, the Command has arrested nine suspects who produced fake COVID-19 exemption tags and seven suspects who   used the tags to defy the Presidential lockdown order. 

The FCT, Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma warns that all persons arrested in possession of fake exemption vehicles pass or personnel tags, risk prosecution.