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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

COVID -19: Two Pilots Arraigned, Remanded In Prison Custody For Violating Rivers Order

COVID -19: Two Pilots Arraigned, Remanded In Prison Custody For Violating Rivers Order

Two Pilots are ow cooling their heels at the Nigeria Correctional Service facility in Port Harcourt, for flouting the restriction order of Governor Nyesom Wike.

The two pilots of Carveton Helicopters; Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, were remanded by a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

The Court presided over by Chief Magistrate D.D Ihua-Maduenyi remanded the two pilots at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre till May 19, 2020, when their trial will commence.

Chief Magistrate Ihua-Maduenyi ruled that COVID-19 tests be carried out on the two pilots ascertain their status.

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The pilots, who were arrested by the Rivers State Police Command, were arraigned by the State Police Command via charge number: PMC/532C/2020.

Prosecution Counsel and Officer-in-charge, Legal of the Rivers State Police Command, Superintendent of Police, Gladys Amadi 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 its investigation. She noted that allowing the accused persons roam the streets will endanger others in the state.

According to her, remanding the pilots will also stop them from further violating the Executive Order.

The Honourable Attorney General of Rivers State, Professor Zacheus Adango was also in court.

The Pilots are facing a four-count charge bordering on disobedience to lawful order.

The Charge reads, “That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large as pilot and co-pilot of Twin-Otter, Carveton Helicopters on the 7th day of April 2020 at the Air Force Base, Port Harcourt in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit misdemeanour to wit: disobedience to lawful order and thereby committed an offence under section 517A of the criminal code CAP 37, Vol 11 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

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“That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did intentionally disobey the lawful order issued by the Governor of Rivers State as contained in paragraph 8 of the Executive Order RVSG -01 2020 made pursuant to Sections 2, 4, and 8 of Quarantine Act Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Regulation 11 of the Quarantine (Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) and other infectious diseases) regulations, 2020 by flying the Twin-Otter Caverton Helicopters into Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 5 of the Quarantine Act Cap Q2 LFN, 2004.

“That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by flying and discharging passengers from the Twin-Otter helicopter at the Air Force Base, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 249 (d) of the criminal code laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

“That you Samuel Ugorji (m), Samuel Buhari (m) and others now at large on the same date and place at the aforesaid magisterial District did intentionally disobey the lawful order issued by the Governor of Rivers State on restriction of movement and flights within the State contrary to paragraph 8 of the Executive Order RVSG -01 2020 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 203 of the criminal code laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”

Governor Wike had vowed to drop his immunity to testify against Caverton and the Pilots in Court who he said must provide the manifest of their passengers for contact tracing of COVID-19.

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