The Ministerial Taskforce set up by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to enforce restrictions placed on residents to curb the spread of COVID-19 has arrested 68 travellers passing through the territory to and fro different parts of the country.
According to the Chairman of the Task Team, Mr. Ikharo Attah, the travellers were hidden in two trucks and another truck conveying fertilisers from Edo State.
They were arraigned before Magistrate Ebiwari Damini at the Zuba Mobile Court.
He said the Magistrate convicted Abdul Sani, and Mukhtar Usman, both truck drivers, among others. They were fined N5, 000 each and ordered that the people be guided out of the FCT and allowed to return to their initial departure points.
The chairman said the magistrate also ruled that those from Kano and Zaria be returned to their places of departure by the FCT Administration.
Attah who led the operation to turn back the trucks decried the high violations of the interstate travel imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Drivers of the two trucks who were coming from Kano and Zaria after delivering goods now took passengers who were charged N1, 500 each. Owners of trucks must do all that is possible to ensure their trucks which are meant for haulage of goods are not converted to illegal transportation of persons from one state to another, thus violating the lockdown directives of the president.
"Most of the drivers often ask the passengers to sit on the floor or hide in between bags so that they cannot be spotted by security personnel, but for us in the FCT, we check every truck before allowing them passage," he said.
City News learnt that among those arrested, 17 persons were travelling from Zaria to Lokoja and Asaba in Delta State, 16 persons were travelling from Kano to Lokoja and Obajana in Kogi State and 25 persons were travelling from Edo State to Zaria in Kaduna State.