Nigeria

Edo government investigates ‘racketeering’ of coronavirus vaccination cards

Sensing the negative reactions that greeted his recent meeting with some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to allegedly dissolve the leadership of the party from the ward to the state level in order to accommodate his loyalists who came from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has reportedly beaten a retreat.

Mr Yusuf Haruna, Head, COVID-19 Enforcement Team in Edo, said the government had commenced investigations into alleged racketeering of vaccination cards in the state.

Newsmen recall that the Edo government on Sept. 13, carried out its threat to prevent civil servants and other citizens without proof of vaccination into public institutions, as many were locked out of their offices.

With the continuation of the enforcement, the state government said it was interrogating four suspects for their alleged involvement in the sales of vaccination cards to unvaccinated persons.

Haruna, who disclosed the development to newsmen on Tuesday in Benin, said he had credible information that members of a syndicate were selling vaccination cards to unvaccinated persons in the state.

According to him, this is a very serious crime and searchlight has been beamed on those who are legally entrusted with the responsibility of handling the vaccination cards.

“We have picked four persons suspected to be involved in this dastardly act.

“You know it’s a very technical issue because first, they must do proper auditing to confirm the number of cards received and the number of cards given out, number of cards returned before we can conclude that this is the number of cards that have been mismanaged.

“The process is ongoing, we wanted all the facts and figures well established, and in writing but the documentary evidence and the suspects will be handed over to the security department and further investigations will be carried out.

” And if found guilty, they will surely be charged to court,” he said.

Reacting to the enforcement of the no vaccination card, no access to state government-owned facilities rules, Haruna said that the government had extended the manning of its facilities with vaccination enforcers to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, and the Edo State Specialist Hospital.

“Today is the fifth day of the commencement of the no vaccination card no access to state government offices and I want to say that we have enjoyed robust cooperation from the state government workers, as well as visitors to government facilities.

“The level of compliance has been very, very impressive and we have moved the vaccination point to entry and exit gates of these offices so that those who are willing to get vaccinated, get that effortlessly and that has been very rewarding.

A NAN correspondent who visited the state Secretariat, Edo Specialist Hospital along Sapele road and the Government House in GRA, observed the heavy presence of police constabularies, deployed there to enforce the policy.

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