Sporadic gunshots rented the air yesterday at Dei-Dei community in Bwari Area Council in Abuja as gunmen, suspected to be policemen disperse a mobile court sitting in the area to try violators of the COVID-19 safety protocols in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The incident, which occurred at about noon threw residents and motorists in the area into confusion as everyone, including the magistrate, prosecutors and other officials scampered for safety.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that trouble started when the officials of the FCT Ministerial Joint Enforcement Task-team on COVID-19 Restrictions, arrested a policeman who gave his name as Agada Gabriel, for the dual offences of not wearing a facemask in public and for overloading his vehicle, a Golf car, with passengers.
According to an eyewitness, the culprit who was arrested around the premises of the court was said to have called on his colleague, a certain Smart Jacob, to help him to resist his arraignment.
However, the two were subsequently charged for overloading and non-use of facemasks and sentenced accordingly, but they were said to have refused to pay their fines or engage in community service as directed by the court.
The duo were said to have mobilised other officers from the Mobile Police Barracks in Dei-Dei, who stormed the court, shooting sporadically.
While the presiding magistrate, Theresa Otu, court prosecutor, Barr Emmanuel T. Yatsegha and other court officials, including a Correctional Service personnel scampered for safety, the policemen were said to have dismantled the court’s canopy and vowed that they would no longer allow any court sitting in the area.
Meanwhile, normalcy has been restored in the area, but a female personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), who was attached to the court was seen lamenting the loss of her mobile phone and handbag containing some valuables.
When contacted, the chairman of the ministerial task-team, Ikharo Attah, said he had been adequately briefed about the development and expressed confidence in the ability of the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, to apprehend the erring personnel and mete out appropriate sanctions.