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COVID-19: Nine pastors arrested in Bayelsa for holding church service

Nine pastors have been arrested in Bayelsa State, South-South Nigeria, for holding church service in alleged contravention of the lockdown order in the state.

The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, signed an executive order recently barring people from leaving their home for one week beginning from April 27, except those on essential duties, to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government has banned all forms of religious gathering in the state for now.

The pastors were arrested on Sunday by the Bayelsa State Task Force on COVID-19 , according to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Freston Akpor, who is a member of the task force.

The information on the arrest is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the ministry of information.

The arrested pastors are P. B. Barima of the Methodist Church, Obogoro, Timi Aaron of Believers Love World, Akenfa, Adaba Glory of Saint Paul Healing Church, and Chris Ezene of God’s Grace Salvation Ministry, Obogoro.

Others are Plus B. James of Prophetic Grace Love Ministry, Opolo; Alfred Munemune of Halleluyah Deliverance Ministries International; Daniel Owi, Winners Chapel, Obogoro; Sardauna Oguta, All for Christ Zion Church, Akenfa 3; and Tony Justice Samugba, New Covenant Tabernacle Ministry also of Akenfa 3.

Mr Akpor said the pastors are being detained at the police headquarters in the state and would be charged to court for alleged violation of the COVID-19 order.

There are five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Bayelsa.

There are 2,388 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria, with 85 deaths. The number of persons discharged is 385 as of May 2.

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