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Police to arrest persons without face masks in Lagos

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PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has warned that the command would begin clampdown on persons found on the streets without facemasks. Odumosu, who addressed newsmen after a prolonged meeting with Area Commanders and principal officers of the command at the headquarters hinted that the curfew would be enforced everywhere in Lagos to the latter.

According to him, “this time, police will not arrest you for vehicle particulars, but for refusing to put on a facemask and not keeping social distancing. Okada activities have also been suspended. Since we started the lockdown, we have not had any case of police brutality in Lagos, because we are using persuasive enforcement, and we will continue with that.

“We just had a security meeting where we just analysed the presidential directive, and the state government regulations in line with the directive, and we are the leading agency in enforcing this directive. The challenge for us now is to put our heads together to have a common way of enforcing the directive. It should not be difficult to enforce the new transport regulation in the state because the state government has gone further to bring onboard all the transport stakeholders in the state, who will do self-enforcement for their members.

“Self-compliance still remains the best, so the LASTMA officials, Neighbourhood Corps, the park and monitoring officials of the Lagos State government that has the power to know what happen in the parks, NURTW and RTEAN, where all transporters belong, have accepted they are going to enforce this. Once they comply, those who refuse, they will know the best punishment for them. With that, we are expecting voluntary compliance,” he said.

He added that those arrested so far are those who did not put on the facemask. “Either the passenger, driver or conductor, anyone not putting on facemask will be arrested. Anyone carrying more than the stipulated number of passengers without social distancing will be stopped. The operatives on enforcement will just ask the excess passengers to get down and the bus will continue its journey with the expected number of passengers. Before any arrest can be made, it will be after 8:00 p.m. By and large, the enforcement is a persuasive one, we persuade people. To be realistic, all that we are avoiding is for people not to have Coronavirus.”


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