By Ovie Okpare
The police in Delta State has launched a manhunt for a fleeing Imam, Alhaji Mohammad Young Okotie, for allegedly violating the sit-at-home order of the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Delta Police Commissioner, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, who ordered the arrest of the Imam, also directed his men to fish out worshippers who attended last Friday’s Jumat Service.
Alhaji Okotie and hundreds of Muslim faithful have allegedly held last jumat service at the Ekakpamre central mosque in Ughelli South Council area of the state in defilement of the prohibition of large gathering in the state.
The Imam had in an interview obtained by NIGER DELTA TODAY Online lamented the poor treatment of the Muslims in the council especially during the recent distribution of COVID-19 palliative in the state government.
But the police commissioner while ordering the arrest of the Imam said he would be prosecuted upon arrest.
According to the CP, “I am right now on official duty to Abuja. On hearing this, I already directed for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Imam. The laws of this country is very unambiguous. It applies to all. The imam cannot claim to be holier than anyone.
“As a Muslim, our leaders (Political & Religious) have enjoined all of us to be law abiding and adhere strictly to what our leaders directed us to follow.
COVID-19 is a matter of life and death.
“Why should someone who endangered the lives of innocent souls be spared ? This can’t be so with me. I am Muslim and determined to prosecute the Imam to serve as deterrent to those who take delight in violating laid down rules and regulations.”
Meanwhile, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the CP directive to our correspondent on Monday.
She, however, disclosed that the Imam is now currently on the run in a bit to evade arrest and subsequent prosecution.
“The Imam is on the run but we have ordered our men to get him and his worshippers arrested for flouting the lockdown directive”, Delta PPRO said.