Court convicts 16 persons in Edo for violating COVID-19 preventive guidelines


A Mobile Court sitting in Benin City has convicted 16 persons for violating the Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases Prevention Regulations, put in place by the government to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The Edo State Judiciary had in April, 2020, constituted Mobile Courts across the state to try violators of the Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020, invoked by Governor Godwin Obaseki, to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The violators, who were arrested at Airport Road axis, under Oredo Magistrate District, were charged for violating government’s order on compulsory use of facemask to protect themselves and stop the infection of others. The Act is stated in Regulation 8 (6)(C) of Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.

The accused persons include Iyoha Best, Amen Ogiesoba, Ogbeide Nosa, Sandra Nosa, Adebayor Balogun and Edward Eweka.

Others are John Akpan, Chuks Kingsley, Prescilia Eze, Elizabeth Eze, Omoruyi Sandra, Chubuike Nwarue, Stanley Alujah, Nosakhare Osazuwa and Kenneth Freedom, who all pleaded guilty to the offence. They also pleaded to the court for mercy.

They were sentenced to between two to three days community service of two to three hours each to clear grasses at Evboriaria Magistrate Court Compound; High Court premises and Golf Course Road by Government House, with a fine between N2000 to N5000.

One of the accused persons, Mr. Fred Ibrahim, was discharged and acquitted, while another accused person, Mr. John Akpan, was charged for overloading his vehicle, which is against the Quarantine Act of Nigeria.

Also, one Mr. Nosakhare Osazuwa, with Vehicle Registration Number LNA 611 BP, was charged for picking up passengers in an unauthorised bus stop, while Mr. Ogeide Nosa was discharged and freed on health grounds.

The Presiding Magistrates, Mrs. Igho Braimoh and Okunrobo F. E, convicted the offenders for outright violation of section 8 (6)(C) of Edo State Dangerous Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020, which states that all or a person should wear or utilize protective device and items such as antiviral sanitiser in whatever format and facemask to protect the persons or to stop the infection of others in the local Area.

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