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Social distancing: Again, court sentences erring Lagos residents

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Fourteen  people, who flouted the social distancing directives of the  federal and Lagos State governments, were  on Wednesday sentenced by a Yaba  Chief Magistrates’ Court.

The court sentences them to one month community service.

Akeem Ikeoluwa, Yakubu Musa, Segun Michael and 11 others had pleaded guilty to a charge of flouting the social distancing directives.

The prosecutor, ASP Roman Unuigbe,  had told the court that the defendants committed the offence on April 7, at No. 10, Cooper Road, Old Musuem, Railway Compound, Ebute Meta, Lagos.

He said that they unlawfully gathered themselves in a group of more than 20 people before  some  escaped.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Peter Ojo, held  that  the defendants should be quarantined for 14 days at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, or any other facility available in the state, and must undergo the COVID-19 test.

He said that whoever would test positive for the virus  must undergo treatment.

If the defendants are negative, they should be handed over to the community and enforcement officers to serve their sentence at the Lagos State Ministry of Environment for a period of one month between the hours of 9:00a.m and 3:00p.m daily.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the offence contravened Regulation 8 (a) (b), 17 (1) (I) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation, 2020, and punishable under Section 58 of Public Health Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Also,  one Tosin Oluwadamilare appeared before  the same court for allegedly being in a gathering of more than 20 people.

The prosecutor, DSP A.A. Adegoke, told the court that he committed the offence on March 29 at 9:30p.m., at Iyana-Iba area of the state.

He said that the defendant failed  to comply with the directives aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty.

The chief magistrate ordered that he should  be kept in isolation  for 14 days and undergo COVID-19 test and,  if negative, should be brought back to court to face trial.

He adjourned the case until April 21 for mention.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)