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Obaseki charges police on insecurity as COVID-19 committee enforces protocols

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A member of the Edo State COVID-19 Monitoring Team, Mrs. Grace Ireotoi (left) enforcing compliance with government’s safety protocols at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Benin City…yesterday

Worshippers allege bribe taking in churches
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, charged the Commissioner of Police (CP), Philip Ogbadu, to rid the state of crime, noting that government will work with the police to provide adequate security for residents.

Obaseki, who gave the charge during a meeting with Ogbadu in Benin City, expressed dismay that the police has not made progress in investigations of the jailbreaks during the #EndSARS protests.

He said: “The situation where almost 2,000 inmates were released from our correctional centres and no progress made in re-arresting them is worrisome. The circumstances of the jailbreaks are questionable and I have not seen any report or enquiry into the jailbreaks.

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“No visible disciplinary action has been taken against culpable law enforcement personnel. The elections are over and we will not tolerate any criminal activity in the name of politics. Politics should not cover up crime.

“I am handing over the state security incident analysis to you, which contains data of crimes and what is going on in the state, but no system is in place to support the state government to check crimes.”

Responding, Ogbadu, said he would work with the state government to check crime and ensure a safer society, adding: “We would do our best to ensure the state is free from crime and there will be changes.”

He disclosed that about 54 firearms were stolen during the #EndSARS protests and only eight of them have been recovered and pledged that the police would do its best to ensure that all the arms were recovered.

MEANWHILE, worshippers in some churches, yesterday, accused the COVID-19 Task Force of taking bribes during their visit to enforce compliance with safety protocols aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic.

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Worshippers of a popular Pentecostal church on the Benin-Sapele Road told The Guardian that the task force visited the church, but did not enforce compliance to safety protocols, alleging that its officials demanded money from those who did not wear face masks.

Some worshippers complied with the safety measures, particularly those who were allowed into the church, while others without their face masks were locked out.

Efforts to get comments from the task force over the allegation was not successful at the time of filing this report, as several calls made to Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie were not answered.

But the task force insisted that it visited churches to enforce compliance with safety protocols, as the monitoring team led by Mrs. Grace Ireotoi and Mrs. Irene Uabor visited some churches in Benin City, to ensure that they observe government’s directives.

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COVID-19Godwin Obaseki
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