The government of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, and the police have repudiated a pictute circulating on social media suggesting that members of Anambra COVID-19 Taskforce Compliance and Enforcement team raped a woman in a vehicle.
The viral picture of an empty bus with reflective jacket branded COVID-19 task force inside and a woman’s pant and brassier littered on the floor shows members of the team allegedly sexually molesting a woman.
The picture generated a rumour that the woman was arrested and raped in Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Aeea, for not putting on a facemask.
But Mr C-Don Adinuba, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in the state, and the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, said the picture was misleading.
Adinuba said there was no such task force in the state but that what existed was Anambra COVID-19 Task Force headed by the government.
He said for such a team to exist there would be a leadership known to the government and with clear terms of reference.
Adinuba said he had seen the viral picture but noted that there was no real story to support or substantiate it.
“We don’t have such team, even the police are not allowed to enforce COVID-19 laws in Anambra because of experiences of the past.
“Such an act like rape, a criminal offence, if it really happens, we believe that there would be (a) witness and that police will gather intelligence and bring the perpetrators to book,” he said.
On his part, Mohammed said there was no confirmed case of a woman being raped by alleged fake COVID -19 task force enforcement team members in Anambra.
He said the vehicle in question had been recovered and impounded by the police and that nobody was seen in it or been linked with it.
He, however, said that investigation was still ongoing on the matter but described the picture as part of unreliable media activity with no substance.
“Who was the woman that was raped, who saw the so-called team during the act and what did they do to them?
“We have recovered the vehicle and it is presently parked in one of police facilities but no one has been linked to the act or the vehicle.
“It is important people allow the investigation to be concluded, for now there is no evidence or proven case against anybody or COVID-19 taskforce team in Anambra, “ he said.
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