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Review Covid-19 Curfew – NBA Asks Governor Obaseki

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The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has asked Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to review the dusk to dawn curfew imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state.

NBA in a statement issued on Monday, March 22, 2021, by its chairman, Pius Oiwoh, said the move is necessary because some security operatives have turned it into an extortion ring and a huge money spinner.

“The Nigerian Bar Association, Benin Branch appeals to the Edo State Government to urgently review the modus operandi of the curfew currently in force in the Edo State,” the statement partly read.

“While lauding Government’s effort so far in reducing the spread of COVID-19 which is the raison d’etre for the curfew, it has however been brought to our attention that some members of the security forces have turned it into an extortion ring and a huge money spinner.

“This ridiculous and opportunistic behaviour by some security personnel has brought embarrassment to both residents and visitors in the state.”

The NBA said it had received many complaints about the activities of the security agents, particularly policemen.

While noting that a matron, who was conveying a diabetic student to St. Philomena Hospital, Benin was detained by the police on Friday night, the legal body said it took the intervention of Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, who had to personally come to the scene at Dawson Akpakpava to facilitate the movement of the matron and the patient to the hospital for medical attention.

It also asked the security operatives to be mindful of the fact many cases of injustice against Nigerians triggered last October’s #EndSARS protests, which led to loss of lives of many innocent persons and destruction of valuable property.

But the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Bello Kontongs, denied the extortion allegation.

He explained that since the state government imposed a curfew, it is the duty of the police authorities to ensure it.

“There is an order by the state governor which stipulated that by 10pm, there has to be no movement.

“Being the Number 1 security officer of the state, that is the order her has given. The police have been given a marching order to enforce this order.

Anything that becomes a nature of enforce, people don’t like it because you have to use force not to allow people move within that period of time as the governor has directed,” he stated.

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