The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has warned residents that fraudsters posing as COVID-19 protocol enforcers are on the loose and moving around to extort money from event planners and others
Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Taskforce, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who admitted being inundated with such negative reports, warned the public to be wary of such criminal elements parading themselves as agents of the government.
While he debunked the rumours that members of his task force were involved in the criminal act, Mr Attah stated that the FCT Police Command has launched a manhunt for the criminal syndicate.
Attah said that it was only the mobile courts constituted by the government that has the right to penalise 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, emphasising that 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, has not approved such kind of officers to go 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.”