An Abuja-based lawyer, Tope Akinyode, has lodged a criminal complaint before a Federal Capital Territory Magistrates’ Court at Wuse against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
Mr Akinyode sued Mustapha and seven other government officials for violating the social distancing rule at the funeral of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
Kyari died of coronavirus on April 17 and was buried on April 18 at Gudu Cemetery in Abuja.
In his complaint before the court, Akinyode said those who attended the burial violated Federal Government’s order, “which mandates social distancing, restricts movement and prohibits mass gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic”.
In a nine-paragraph affidavit, he listed those who violated the order to include Mustapha; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmad Rufai.
Others listed as violators are Ambassador Lawal Kazure, Musa Dauda, Yusuf Sabiu, Bashir Ahmed, Aliyu Sani, and Dadiya Umar-Farouq.
Mustapha had acknowledged and publicly apologised for violating the social distancing order.
“Further to the above, the defendants, having violated the order of government on safety precautions, were barred by presidential officials from entering the Aso Villa in a significant disapproval of their act,” the lawyer said.
He further stated that he attached to the suit a flash drive containing pictures and videos of the alleged violation, adding that “this criminal complaint is brought in the interest of justice”.
A date is yet to be fixed for hearing.