Rivers police bar relatives from visiting quarantined helicopter pilots

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By Brave Dickson

Police personnel in mufti who are guarding some pilots of Carveton Helicopters have barred relatives of the pilots from visiting them.

The pilots, Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari were on Tuesday remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre by Chief Magistrate .D.D. Ihua-Maduenyi in Port Harcourt for flouting the directive of the Rivers State Government on border closure.

The pilots and passengers were however diverted by the state COVID-19 taskforce and had since been placed under quarantine in the state owned hotel known as Delta Hotels in Port Harcourt.

Our correspondent who visited the hotel today reported that a relative who visited to give some cloths to his family member under quarantined was not allowed to meet with the pilots and passengers.

Our correspondent also gathered that only boxers and singlets were received by the security personnel from the relative who gave his name as Tony Oputa but was not allowed to see the quarantined pilots and passengers.

When asked why the state government decided to divert the pilots and passengers from the Nigerian Correctional Centre as ordered by the court to a state owned hotel, an official of the hotel who pleaded anonymity due to fear of being sacked told our correspondent that they were told to reserve some lodgements yesterday (Tuesday).

“During evening hours, we saw the state government taskforce on COVID-19 with these pilots and passengers.

“After instructing the pilots and passengers on the quarantine rules, they were given lodgments in our hotel.

“Anybody who comes to us in respect of the quarantined pilots and passengers, we do refer such person to meet with the police personnel in mufti.

“That is all I know about this for now,” he said.

Upon their arraignment in court, the Prosecution Counsel and Officer-in-Charge of Legal in the Rivers State Police Command, S.P, Gladys Amadi had told the court that the acts of the two pilots were capable of putting the entire state in danger of contracting coronavirus.

She urged the court to remand them in prison custody to enable the police conclude their investigation.

She noted that allowing the defendants to roam the streets will endanger others in the state.