By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos Police Command were reportedly attacked on Sunday, with their mobile phones seized by members of the Victorious Army International Church during an operation by the cops to enforce government’s directive on limiting of gatherings to 50 persons.
One Samsung S 8+ and Samsung J4.were said to have been seized from the policemen during the attack.
Also, members of the TVC crew, who were in company of the policemen were equally attacked by the worshippers, but unsuccessful in the attempt to seize their cameras and mobile phones.
According to report, a TVC senior correspondent Ivy Kanu was molested by the worshippers, while the camera man was almost prevented from recording the church premises during the Sunday service, which had the church filled to capacity.
Our correspondent gathered that the Commander of the RRS Tunji Disu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police had been assigned to head the enforcement team constituted on government’s directive limiting public gathering to 50 persons, including churches and mosques in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.
It was reliably learnt that he had led his team, acccompanied by some journalists across the state to ensure compliance of the directive.
On arrival at church’s headquarter located on Acme Road Ogba, at few minutes past 9.00am, the team was prevented access into the church by members who were in their hundreds.
” Officials of the church were seen scampering around to inform other members of the presence of the police.
“When the entrance gate was opened, some belligerent church members who saw one of the enforcement officers recording the church activities attacked them, seized two mobile phones, a Samsung S 8+ and Samsung J4.
“The members equally attacked TVC reporter, Ivy Kanu and almost seized her phone. TVC camera man was equally attacked as they tried unsuccessfully to prevent him from recording in and out of the church premises.”
DCP Disu in de-escalating the crisis prevailed on the management of the church to discontinue the service and prune down the attendance to reflect the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu’s directive.
As at the time of filing this report, one of the phones, a Samsung S 8+ is still being held by the church after reluctantly producing a Samsung J4″, the RRS media team posted on its facebook page.
It stated further that, ” The team commenced compliance monitoring as early as 7:00 a.m. visited religious organisations in Alausa, Agidingbi, ACME Road, Akilo, Ogba, Aguda, Yahaya Abatan, Omole, Ojodu, Ogudu, Oregun, Toyin, Ikeja GRA, Allen and Opebi. Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Olowopopo, Jobi Fele Way, Alapere, Oba Akran and Obafemi Awolowo Way.
There was total compliance on all the places visited. Some churches visited had their services online while some had banners tied to their entrance informing worshippers to go back home.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu has advised Lagosians, club owners and religious bodies to comply with State Government’s directive, as the police would continue to monitor compliance”.