Kaduna State government has revealed that security agents have arrested two pastors for holding 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 before a Chief Magistrate Court on Monday, April 6, 2020.
According to the commissioner, the suspects were charged with ‘’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 said that ‘’the Quarantine Law will be applied without fear or favour until the lockdown is duly lifted.’’
Tribune Online recalls that some Muslim clerics held congregational prayers on March 27, 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,’’ he said.
According to him, the two accused pastors apparently misread the government’s strong signal, as they flouted the law and disobeyed the warning of various leaders of faith, by holding church service last Sunday.
The statement commended religious and traditional rulers for sensitising their 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 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 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.