The crisis rocking the demolition of Prodest Hotel took a twist on Monday following a disagreement between the Rivers State Government and owner of the hotel, Promise Gogorobari, over the COVID-19 status of the hotel manager.
The government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, named the hotel manager as one of the 27 new cases recorded in the state.
Nsirim 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 brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them”.
But Gogorobari accused the government of laying a background to kill his manager, Dr. Bariledum Azoroh, insisting that he 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 to COVID-19 and wondered why he was the only one, whose name was mentioned among the 27 cases.
“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 an 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.
He said the manager was being detained in an illegal detention facility at the Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt despite Federal Government’s stance against all forms of illegal detention in Rivers state.
Stating the current administration in the state lacked respect for rule of law, Gogorobari recalled the manager was held by the government and “kept in this gangster stadium facility and surreptitiously tried and convicted with a fine of N50,000 and to be isolated for 14 days”.
He said: “This is the worst abuse to citizens human rights under the Quarantine Act.
“The Rivers State Government and Governor of Rivers State must be held liable for infecting my manager who is in their custody for over 15 days with COVID-19.
“He was a very healthy person before his arrest. It is therefore medically impossible that the infection occurred before his detention.
“It is a known fact that I and the Rivers State Government are at daggers drawn over demolition of my hotel.
“It is a beastial act for the same government to convict my manager and now infect him with the novel Coronavirus. It is also known that the object of the government is to kill my manager and his lawyer by conducting some unorthodox medical tracing to the lawyer.
“The manager is currently under pressure to take some unorthodox drugs that are non-compliant to the NCDC prescription and treatment procedures.
“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.
“The President of Nigeria should step in now to stop the murderous rage of the Governor of Rivers State. He should submit Dr. Bariledum Job Azoroh to NCDC in Abuja and stop all further acts in this matter”.