The police in Lagos on Wednesday arraigned an additional 17 residents who flouted the stay-at-home order of the state government.
Those arraigned include Adekunle Peter, 28; Rikwan Babajide, 18; Bukola Oyekola, 30; Kennedy Ubogu, 30; Yusuf Lawal, 25; Saheed Isiaka, 24; Olamide Wasiu, 17; Wisdom Edokpayi, 34; Michael Duyilemi, 34.
Others are Francis Ofen, 20; Babatunde Mukaila, 19; Sunday Nwanga, 28; Ckukwuma Ifeadi, 30; Kareem Akeem, 23; Chibuzor Okonkwo, 40; Zakariyu Mohammed, 29; Olasunkanmi Akanbi, 37; Babatunde Olafusi, 40.
The defendants appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court on a charge of gathering and loitering.
The government had restricted movement of the residents, ordering them to stay at home except if on essential duty.
This is aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic.
The defendants all pleaded guilty to the charge.
Prosecution team led by Mr Cyril Ejiofor from the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, had told the court that they committed the offence on April 1, at Ajegunle.
The prosecution said that the defendants flouted the stay-at-home-order of Lagos state and were loitering.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Peter Ojo, sentenced them to one month of community service to be served at the Lagos State High Court from the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., daily.
“They are to ensure that the surroundings and inner offices are kept clean at all times.
“The law was not made for fun, but for the peace and welfare of the people, the defendants must be punished accordingly.
“What is a threat to the people was taken for granted and as a joke by these people, and it is quite unfortunate, “ he said.
Ojo added the defendants should be quarantined for 14 days at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, and must undergo the COVID 19 test.
He said that whoever among them that would test positive for the virus must undergo treatment.
“If the defendants are negative, they should immediately be handed over to the community and enforcement officers to serve their sentence.”
The offence contravenes Regulation 8 (a) (b) 17 (1) (I) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation, 2020, and punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law of Lagos State, 2015.