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Lagos mobile court tries 202 joggers, cyclists for flouting lockdown order

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Some of the suspects


• 30 arraigned for violating stay-at-home directive in Delta

Fitness lovers numbering 202 were yesterday tried by two Lagos mobile courts at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti, Yaba, for violating the lockdown order in Lagos State.

The suspects, according to police spokesman, Bala Elkana, were arrested while playing football on major streets and having group exercise in large numbers, which negated the principle of social distancing. 
 
Bala said: “The suspects were arraigned in Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Court on one count charge of violating the social distancing directives of Lagos State Government. Among the suspects charged, 189 pleaded guilty to the charge while 13 pleaded not guilty. At the end of the trial, the suspects were found guilty as charged and ordered to pay N10,000 each as fines. They were also sentenced to two hours community service, which was supervised by officials of social welfare. 
 
“The suspects were arrested along Iju, Sabo, Ikeja, Itire, Ikotun, Ogudu, Akinpelu, Maroko, Alapere, Anthony, Orile, Owode Onirin and Ilemba Hausa areas. The suspects are within ages of 15 and 42. 

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They were charged before two magistrates – Mrs. Makanju Oshodi and Mr. Nurudeen Layeni of the Lagos Mobile Courts. Coordinator of Mobile Courts, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Arinola Ogbara-Banjoko, said that over 260 persons had been tried by the courts for various violations since the lockdown began in Lagos.

“All apprehended juvenile offenders and persons with special needs were not arraigned before the courts. They were over 50 and are not part of the over 260 persons tried by the mobile courts. Deaf and dumb persons were separated because we do not have an interpreter. Fines of N10,000 and community service were handed by the court,” she said.

Also, no fewer than 30 persons were yesterday arrested and arraigned before a Mobile Court sitting in Warri South Council Area for violation of the stay-at-home order by the state government as a part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The suspects, who were arrested by police in different parts of the area, were arraigned before Mrs E.M Sowho.

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The state government had given a 14-day stay-at-home order with effect from April 1, as a measure to contain the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Some of the suspects included: Edor Bernard (m), Ebi Ziporah (m), Oke Michael (m), Juliet Sarah (f), Jubemi Omatseye (m), Salisu Yakubu (m), Stanley Freeborn among others.

The prosecuting counsel, Sunday Irabor (DSP) told the court that the suspects failed to comply with the lockdown order as directed by the state government.

According to him, their action contravened the Regulation 2 sub 1of Infectious Disease (emergency prevention regulations) 2020 of Delta government, adding that the offence was punishable under section 61 of the Public Health Law of Delta, Nigeria 2006.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge. Magistrate Sowho, however, in her discretion having heard from the accused fined them between N500 and N1000 each to serve as deterrent to others.

One of the accused, Freeborn, who was sentenced to a community service, advised the public to obey the government order noting that it was in the interest of the general public.

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