…Manhunt For Pastor Who Scaled Fence Begins
•As Enforcement Team Turns Back 22 Travelers From Zamfara
A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mobile Court, sitting at Jabi, on Sunday ordered the indefinite closure of The Shekinah Glory Church, located opposite the Popular Citec Estate, Jabi, for the violation of the lockdown order, ocassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presiding magistrate, Mabel Bello, also ordered that the General Overseer of the church, simply identified as Pastor Kalu, who escaped with some top workers of the church, by jumping over the fence, be tracked down, arrested and prosecuted.
Leder of the FCT Enforcement Team, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who confirmed the development, disclosed that he mobilized to the area, when he got wind that the church was holding a full service, in contravention of the ban on religious gathering.
He added that on sighting his team, the pastor and some leading church workers, including deacons and ushers, jumped over the fence and escaped.
Noting that some of the church members, especially female church workers, who could not escape, were arrested and arraigned before the court, Attah said that the magistrate found those arrested and arraigned guilty of violating the lockdown restrictions order, and subsequently sentenced them to three-hour supervised community service, with an option of N1,000 fine.
The team leader reiterated that a search for the fleeing cleric had begun, adding that he must be made to face the law for disobeying government’s directives and endangering the lives of his congregation.
In a related development, the Enforcement Team intercepted a truck load of food stuffs from Zamfara State, with 22 passengers hidden under bags of beans and potatoes.
Attah revealed that interrogation of the driver and the passengers of the truck at the Abuja City gate, where they were intercepted, revealed that the 22 passengers were violators of government’s ban on inter-state movement, who were almost sneaking into the city centre.
He, however, disclosed that the Enforcement Team immediately escorted the errant passengers out of Abuja, asking them to return to Zamfara State and remain there till the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
He said, ”The FCT Administration would continue to turn them back, because they are daily coming in their hundreds into Abuja; and we don’t have the facilities to keep such large number. We would continue to turn them back and man our numerous borders.”
He averred that if enforcement teams in other states are doing their jobs properly, the truck ought to have been stopped in Zamfara; neither should it have crossed Funtua in Katsina State and the entire Kaduna State before entering the FCT.