Rivers arrests 22 traders for violating lockdown

Rivers arrests 22 traders for violating lockdown

Atleast 22 traders who entered rivers state from neighbouring states have been arrested by the state government for disobeying the state's directive on border closure meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the arrested traders came from Anambra and Abia states to do business in Rivers state.

According to the arrested traders, they were not aware that the lockdown was serious in Rivers State because in their respective states, traders were allowed to move around.

Speaking with newsmen, one of the traders identified as Mrs. Uju Nnamdi noted that she was on her way to the state to sell her wares.

She said though she was aware of the lockdown of the state, she never knew her trading would endanger the state.

According to the Driver of the truck identified as Mr. Chijioke John, he was travelling to Onne from Onitsha, but picked the women at Ihiala in Anambra State.

He said the women pleaded with him to help them and he took pity on them, since they were standing on the road.

The female traders were reportedly conveyed in a container to conceal their movement into the state but driver said he opened one of the container doors for the traders to get ventilation

Reacting on the development, the Rivers State Health Commissioner, Prof. Chike Princewill said that the 22 traders would be screened to ascertain their coronavirus status.

He said that the screening was vital to ensure that they did not infect the state adding that his ministry stationed medical personnel to carry out the responsibility.

He said after the screening, the traders would be tried in line with the extant laws in place to protect Rivers people.

Princewill said it was embarrassing that a transporter would convey human beings in a container, just to beat the law.

The accused persons were later tried in a magistrate court assigned for that purpose by the Chief Judge of Rivers State.

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