A mobile court sitting at the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, on Thursday, convicted 189 out of the 202 persons arraigned for violating the lockdown order of the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Sixty juvenile violators, including some with hearing and speech impairment, were also ordered to do community service.

It was gathered during a visit to the SCIID that the violators were arrested while playing football, jogging and partaking in different forms of physical exercise in different parts of the state.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, told journalists that the 202 persons were arrested while playing football and exercising on major streets, adding that they were arraigned on one count of violating the social distancing directive of the Lagos State Government.

The PPRO stated, “On Thursday, April 9, 2020, police officers on enforcement of the restriction of movement arrested 202 suspects for violating the stay-at-home directive of the government. The suspects were arrested playing football on major streets and having group exercise in large numbers, which negated the principles of social distancing.

“The suspects were arraigned before the Lagos State Special Offences Mobile Court on one count of violating the social distancing directive of the government and contrary to Regulation 8(1) ( a) & (b) and 17 (1) (i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations, 2020. It is an offence punishable under Section 58 of the Public Health Law, Cap P16, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

“Among the charged suspects, 189 pleaded guilty, while 13 pleaded not guilty. At the end of the trial, the suspects, who pleaded guilty, were ordered to pay fines ranging from N5,000 to N10,000. They were also sentenced to two hours of community service, which was supervised by officials of the Social Welfare Unit.”

The Coordinator of the Mobile Court, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Arinola Ogbara-Banjoko, said the 60 juvenile violators, including those with hearing and speech impairment, were asked to do community service because of their ages and condition.

She added that those among the convicts, who could not afford to pay the fine, were asked to do community service for a day and sent home with a warning that they should stay at home for their safety.

Source: The Punch

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