Coronavirus lockdown: Two hotels demolished in Nigeria ‘for breach of rules’

The authorities in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern Rivers state have demolished two hotels over an alleged breach of lockdown rules intended to contain the spread of coronavirus.

State Governor Nyesom Wike, who supervised the demolishing exercise of Edemete Hotel and Prodest Home on Sunday, said the operators had flouted the hotel lockdown order

He said that people who had tested positive for the virus had been found in hotels across the state.

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He however did not say if anyone who had Covid-19 had been staying in any of the demolished hotels.

‘We refused to pay bribe’

The managers of both businesses have been arrested.

On the other hand, the owner of Prodest Home has denied that his hotel was open.

Edemete Hotel/Night Club

“The hotel was not operating and 70% of the staff had been sent away,” Gogorobari Promise Needam told the BBC.

“There were only three people on ground.”

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“[Officials] came in and were asking for bribe, they said they would let us operate if we gave them money but we said we were not operational so had no money to give,” he said.

The Rivers state government denies the accusation.

The state currently has 15 active cases of the virus and has recorded two deaths.

A lockdown was imposed on the state capital, Port Harcourt, last Thursday.

Legal experts have told the BBC that the actions of the Rivers state governor could be challenged in court.

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Nigeria has more than 4,300 confirmed cases of coronavirus overall; with Lagos as the epicentre.