By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has alerted residents of the activities of fraudsters who allegedly move around to extort money from event planners and other residents in guise of COVID-19 enforcement.
Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Taskforce, 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, but are not.
While he debunked the rumours that members of his Taskforce 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.
He added that it is only the Mobile Courts constituted by government that has the right to penalize violators.
According to him, any group of persons found extorting money from members of the public under any guise should be reported to the appropriate authorities, as such activities remain illegal.
“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 have 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”.