Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday, alerted residents of the activities of fraudsters who allegedly move around to extort money from event planners and other residents in the guise of COVID-19 protocol enforcers.
Head, Media, and Enlightenment of FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Taskforce, Comrade Ikharo Attah who admitted of being inundated with such negative reports, warned the public to be wary of such criminal elements who parade themselves as agents of government.
While he discredited the rumours that members of his task force were involved in the criminal act, he also disclosed that FCT Police Command has launched a manhunt for the criminal syndicate.
He further stressed that neither the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 nor the FCTA have authorised anyone to penalize violators of the health guidelines.
Attah added that it is only the Mobile Courts constituted by government that has the right to penalize violators.
He advised residents that any group of persons found extorting money from members of the public under any guise should be reported to the appropriate authorities, emphasizing that such activities remain illegal.
His words: “We actually work on the platform of integrity having been set up together by the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello under the chairmanship of the FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma; we don’t go out asking people for money on issues relating to COVID-19 guidelines.
“We actually avoid going to meet people to ask them to give us money for whatever. But it’s quite disheartening and disturbing that we have heard such rumours before now, that people go round in the name of COVID-19 enforcement.
“We don’t have any office or any person like COVID-19 inspection officer, who we have assigned to go round. The commissioner of police who is our chairman has not approved such kind of officers to round. All those in this act should desist from it. The PTF at the national level had given the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols for us to observe.
“There are events that they have allowed to operate here, and many events including schools are opened, but it’s just that they have some restrictions on the number or whatever that people should do.”
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