Rivers State Government has said that the manager of Prodest Hotel which was demolished for violating the lockdown order in the state has tested positive for coronavirus.
Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, in a statement on Monday named the hotel manager, Bariledum Azoroh, as one of the 27 new cases recorded in the state.
He said: “Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus cases. The manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.
“This latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.
“Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.
“The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalised and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.”
The hotel owner, Promise Gogorobari, however, refuted the state government’s claim.
Mr Gogorobari accused the government of plotting to kill his manager, insisting that Mr Azoroh was hale and hearty when he was arrested and kept in government’s custody.
He alleged that the government hired “unorthodox medical officers” to write a report that his manager tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have it on good authority based on intelligent report reaching me that the manager of Prodest Hotel in Eleme, Dr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, who is now a prisoner of the Rivers State Government has been framed up by unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by the government with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government,” he said in a statement.
Gogorobari said the manager was being detained in an illegal detention facility at the stadium in Elekahia, Port Harcourt and “surreptitiously tried and convicted with a fine of N50,000 and to be isolated for 14 days.”
He added: “Furthermore, the drugs have been prepared locally and it is a poison such that if used will kill the manager of Prodest hotel within 24 hours.
“The whole world should be aware that Governor Wike wants kill the manager to convince the public that infected persons were in the hotel all in attempt to justify his illegal demolition of the hotel on the 10th of May 2020. The society should therefore be concerned just as I am worried.”
Gogorobari called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter, insisting that the hotel manager should be handed over to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja.