An Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday convicted a resident of Ekiti State, Vincent Ikechukwu, for not wearing a face mask which is now mandatory in the state.
Ikechukwu was apprehended by law enforcement officers while on a bike at Fajuyi area of the city and immediately dragged before the court.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. B.A. Oluwasanmi, who found Ikechukwu guilty, imposed a sentence of N40,000. The offender who is the first to face such penalty will also engage in community labour for three days in addition to the fine.
Magistrate B.A Oluwasanmi in the judgement highlights the threat to existence, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and why it is a serious crime to flout the law put in place to ensure safety for all.
The convict received the punishment for contravening Ekiti State Coronavirus (Prevention of Infection) Regulations recently promulgated into law to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the state.
The charge sheet reads: “That you, Vincent Ikechukwu, at about 11am on the 8th day of May, 2020 at Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti Magisterial District, did without lawful excuse, move without wearing a cloth face mask, thereby violating the provisions of Regulations 4(2)(a) of Regulation 4 punishable under Regulation 12 of the Ekiti State Coronavirus (Prevention of Infection) Regulations 1-4, 2020 made pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2, LFN, 2004.”
Oluwasanmi said the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others and lesson that there was penalty for breaking the law.
Over a hundred violators including clergymen have been given various punishments in Ekiti State for violation of government orders meant to check the spread of Coronavirus.
Reacting to the conviction, Ikechukwu said the penalty was too much for him to bear even though he admitted that he was guilty for not using a face mask.
It could be recalled that the government of Ekiti State had last week released a fresh guideline to regulate movement and activities during the pandemic season as Governor, Kayode Fayemi admonished that violators will be apprehended and prosecuted according to the framework developed by the State Ministry of Justice.