International

Nigerian wedding guests flee coronavirus raid

A pastor in Nigeria’s southern city of Calabar has been arrested for breaching lockdown rules by conducting a wedding in his church.

In a video, guests can be seen fleeing as officials entered the building.

The pastor, from the Apostolic Church, was arrested on Saturday by members of Cross River state’s Covid-19 taskforce who were on patrol. They got suspicious after seeing an unusual number of vehicles parked in front of the church.

“We were patrolling to see the compliance level when we noticed cars parked and it had me wondering where the cars had come from,” Potrait Peterson, the leader of the patrol team told BBC Pidgin.

He said when his team entered the church, they found more than 300 people gathered, in violation of social distancing guidelines in the state.

The state is one of only two in Nigeria yet to record any case of coronavirus and authorities had banned public gatherings of more than five people. The state was also one of the first in Nigeria to make face masks mandatory in public.

The video of the raid shows the guests fleeing and leaving the bemused wedding couple, before the groom led his bride down the aisle to the exit.