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Coronavirus Lockdown Offenders Face Jail Term As Lagos Assembly Passes New Law

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill empowering security agencies to arrest people who flout directives aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Part of the bill recommended that those who flout the coronavirus lockdown directive be jailed for a month or fined N100,000, The PUNCH reports.

The Lagos lawmakers passed the bill at their sitting on Thursday.

The bill, titled ‘A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes’, has 25 sections.

The bill also empowered Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least N20 billion to combat the pandemic in Lagos State.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

It read, “The Bill empowers the Governor to incur the Kick-off expenditure sum of N20 billion to combat and stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The Governor in combating the Coronavirus pandemic shall declare a state of emergency in the State to protect the people of the State from the pandemic.

“The Bill calls for a Trust Fund named Coronavirus Pandemic Trust Fund with a board to manage this, but supervised by the Executive. The Trust fund shall consist of funds and material donations from individuals, private and public organizations.

“As from the commencement of this law, only essential services such as food supply, pharmacy, shops, water supply, petrol filling Stations and other relevant agencies shall be in full operations unless the Governor declares otherwise.

“All security agencies in the state including the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency shall effectively ensure that policy directives of the Governor are implemented and enforced.

“Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.

“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one month imprisonment or three months Community service.”

Lagos, which is considered as the epicentre of coronavirus in Nigeria, has a total of 32 confirmed cases as of 05.45pm on Thursday.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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