COVID-19: Police arrest 175 suspects for trading, partying in Lagos

At least 175 suspects have been arrested by the police in Lagos for alleged violation of the social distancing and curfew directives of government, the command said on Monday.

The suspects who were arrested between Friday and Sunday were alleged to have either organised parties, religious gathering, traded at open markets or breached the dusk-to-dawn curfew put in place to contain further spread of the novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Parading some of the suspects at the command headquarters, Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu said 95 were traders apprehended at Ilepo Market around 10am on Sunday for operating in violation of the lockdown relaxation guidelines.

He said a team of policemen at Oke Odo were sent to the market to stop traders from opening their shops on Sunday in line with guidelines which allowed food markets to open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays but the team was resisted by the traders.

“We sent reinforcement to the area. 70 males and 25 female suspects were arrested. Similarly, an Islamic cleric, Rasheed Jimoh, 40, a prophet Moses Peter, 61, and 28 worshippers were arrested for holding prayers. Jimoh and 13 others were arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in a mosque at Olushi, Lagos Island while holding  congregational prayers in violation of the order issued by government.

“Around 4pm on the same day, policemen on enforcement duty from Tolu Division arrested a Christian Cleric, Apostle Shepherd Moses Peter, 61, and 16 others in Christ Desire Sabbath Mission, Olodi, Apapa holding congregational service,” he said.

The police chief said 26 persons including a hotel manager and birthday celebrant were held for partying at White Courtville Hotel, Egbeda on Saturday night by policemen at Shasha Division.

He said the division received a tip off around 11:30pm that a group of young men and women were hosting a birthday party White Courtville Hotel, Egbeda along Akowonjo Road, Animashaun Bus Stop.

“A team of police was deployed to the area. The organiser of the party, Blessing Omo, 25, and 25 others were arrested. The manager of the hotel, one Ikechukwu Emmenuel was equally arrested. The hotel will be sealed by the relevant government agency.”

He said 24 suspects arrested were at Kwakwa Uku area of Agege for violating curfew around 10pm on May 8 by operatives from Area G command, adding that they pelted stones on the enforcement team.

“The suspects including one Balikis Obadina, 30, were selling food, consuming alcohol and illicit drugs. On sighting the police, they became violent, hauling stones and bottles on the enforcement teams. All those arrested will be charged to court,” said Odumosu.

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