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COVID-19: Abia govt to impound vehicles, fine inter-state travellers N50,000

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has signed an executive bill empowering the state’s transport ministry to impound vehicles and impose a N50,000 fine on travellers who violate the ban on inter-state trips.

The state Commissioner for Transport, Chief Ekele Nwaohammuo, who disclosed this to journalists on Friday in Aba, said the ministry had already arrested two drivers and impounded two vehicles with passengers moving from Aba to Lagos.

He said: “We have also sealed the Perfect Transport Company, Aba, for violating the directive on inter-state movements.”

The commissioner said he would soon meet with transporters and road workers unions in the state to remind them of the implications of running foul of the lockdown rules and to encourage compliance.

Nwaohammuo added: “It is very correct that some motorists and buses still load and move people in and outside Abia.

“I have arrested some motorists for boarding people in their vehicles to move outside the state.

“I am just coming from the Secretary to the State Government’s office where I went to seek reinforcement because I am just an individual and cannot handle the situation alone.

“These commercial bus drivers are very stubborn. I have told them on radio the difference between intra-state and inter-state movements, yet they keep doing what they are doing.

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“I will hold a meeting with all their leaders on Friday to ensure they understand the need to obey the lockdown order or face the consequence.”

The commissioner disclosed that he had been authorised to work with the Special Adviser on Security to Abia State government, Capt. Awa Udonsi, and use “every reasonable force” to seal any park transporting people for inter-state trips.

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