Home News COVID-19: Oyo Police Intercept 76 Abidjan Returnees, Lead Them To Osun

COVID-19: Oyo Police Intercept 76 Abidjan Returnees, Lead Them To Osun

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Some Osun indigenes, numbering close to 76, who were said to be coming from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, were initially arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday.

The returnees were intercepted by the police at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, for violating the boundary closure and order on restriction of movements in the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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They were said to be over hundred.

But before the interception, OYOINSIGHT.COM learnt, over 30 of them had alighted and left for various places in Ibadan and its environs.

They were said to have initially resisted attempts by security agents to hand them over to the state’s COVID-19 task force.

The police were said to have set the travellers free after due diligence and investigation. The task force team, this newspaper later learnt, led them to Osun.

Reacting to the development, the Oyo State Police Command, through its public relations officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, told The PUNCH, “Well, the travellers have been released; they were released after diligent investigation on Wednesday evening.”

“In all, the travellers were 76. They were on their way into the country from Abidjan. They were arrested in Lagos and got quarantined for 14 days before being released. On getting to Ibadan, they were apprehended and were to be handed over to the COVID-19 team in Oyo State for assessment.

“During our investigation, we discovered that they were truly quarantined within the stipulated period of 14 days. They presented the clearance that was issued for all of them by the task force in Lagos State, and when contacts were made, it was found to be true.”

“We had wanted to hand them over to the COVID-19 task force in Oyo State but they were cleared by Lagos State, so our men led them to the boundary of Osun State and handed them over to the security agents.”

This newspaper further learnt that the travelers had been made to be tested at Badagry Testing Centre in Lagos and had been certified negative, even after being isolated for two weeks. “Those who tested positive among them had been sent to isolation center in Lagos,” another source who did not want name in print added

Osun State government, in his reaction on Thursday, confirmed receiving the returnees on Wednesday night.

A statement by Funke Egbemode, commissioner for information and civic orientation, said the returnees have been certified free of COVID-19 by Lagos State.

The statement read, “This is to officially allay the fears and panic in the public informed by insinuations that the State Government of Osun allowed a new batch of Ivory Coast returnees into the state, after the first experience which led to a surge of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease in the state.

“Forty-nine indigenes of Osun yesterday (Wednesday), returned to the state. 41 are from Ejigbo and eight from Iwo. We have an official report  showing they all have tested negative for COVID-19.

“These 49 indigenes of Osun, on arrival from Ivory Coast, were graciously received by the Lagos State Government at the Nigeria-Benin border, were quarantined for 14 days in Lagos State’s facility in Badagry where they were tested for COVID-19 infection during the period.”

It added that those who tested positive for the disease were moved into isolation wards in Lagos, while those who tested negative were cleared, saying those from Osun were allowed to return to the state.

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