Security agents have arrested two clerics for holding church service last Sunday, in violation of the Kaduna state government lockdown order to stem the spread of Covid-19, the state government has said.
A statement issued by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan on Tuesday, said that Ifeanyi Ojonu and Giniki Okafor held church service at Sabon Tasha area of Chikun Local Government Area.
The statement stated further that the suspects have been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court on Monday, 6th April, 2020 “for Criminal Conspiracy and Disobedience to an Order duly promulgated by a Public Servant, under section 59 and 115 of the Penal Code’’.
Aruwan, who reiterated that nobody is above the law and everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, noted 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 before a Chief Magistrate Court on March 30th, 2020, to demonstrate government’s determination to prosecute violators of the quarantine law.
“The two accused clergymen apparently mis-read government’s strong signal, as they flouted the law and disobeyed the warning of various leaders of faith, by holding church service last Sunday.”
He commended religious and traditional leaders for sensitizing their followers about the dangers of COVID-19, by asking them to obey the lockdown order as a religious and social obligation.
The Commissioner maintained that the religious community has substantially complied with the lockdown as Muslim daily congregational prayers, including Jumma’at prayers, have been suspended, adding that church services have also not 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.