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135 arraigned for allegedly violating lockdown rules in Rivers, Ekiti States

About 123 persons have been arrested and arraigned before three Magistrate Courts sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for violation of the lockdown order by Governor Nyesom Wike on some parts of the state.

Although, unconfirmed reports say over 200 people have been arrested by security operatives in Rivers since the governor announced the restrictions on Monday, the charge sheet confirms that 123 people were to make an appearance before the courts and their trial placed in batches.

Also in Ekiti State, about 12 persons were yesterday arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrate’s Court for allegedly violating the Ekiti government’s directives on COVID-19. The accused persons were brought before Chief Magistrate Abdulamid Lawal for defying the stay-at-home directives given by the government.

Governor Kayode Fayemi had on Sunday announced that the state will be totally locked down with full restriction of human and vehicular movements commencing from Tuesday, as part of the strategic efforts to mitigate against the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The accused were two Egyptians, Mohammed Mustapha and Mahmud Ahmed, Oladapo Oyinlade, Matthew Oyinlade, Ogundana Gbenga, Sunday Ani and others.

The Director of Prosecution, Julius Odugbemi, told the court that Mustapha and Ahmed on April 1, flouted government stay-at-home directives by driving around Ado-Ekiti metropolis without lawful excuses. He added that the offence violated the Provisions of the Ekiti State coronavirus (Prevention of Infection) Regulations, 2020 made pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2, LFN, 2004.

The duo found guilty of the two-count charges leveled against them were both fined N2,500 each of the count charges, totalling N10,000. The Chief Magistrate in his ruling said both defendants are reasonably suspects and should be kept in mandatory isolation for 14 days.

Oladapo and Matthew were also fined N2,500 each of the two-count charges for riding on Okada, during the stay-at-home order. Others include Ani, who was fined N1,000 each of the two-count charge for defying government directives to buy drugs for his dog that was sick. Gbenga was discharged due to his plea that he assisted someone who wanted to buy medicine for someone who is sick before he was arrested.

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