Ebola Outbreak

September 14, 2014

Ebola: Nigerians want ECOWAS diplomat jailed!

Ebola: Nigerians want ECOWAS diplomat jailed!

Nigerians want ECOWAS diplomat jailed!

What the law says

Section 247 (b) of the criminal code of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria provides that:” any person who does any act which is, and which he knows or has reasons to believe to likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life whether human or animal; is guilty of misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for six months.”

How koye’s action led to two deaths

Olu-Ibukun Koye, an official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had  primary contact with Patrick Sawyer, the American-Liberian who brought Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria.

He was subsequently placed under HOME OBSERVATION during which officials of Lagos State Government were visiting him in the morning and in the evening to check his temperature and to see if he was developing the EVD symptoms.

Nigerians want ECOWAS diplomat jailed!

Nigerians want ECOWAS diplomat jailed!

On the third day of the inspection, Koye disappeared from his house, switched off his phone and escaped to Port Hacourt. Officials of the Department of State Security mounted a search for him. He was only found after more than two weeks after he had infected Dr Iyke Enemou who was treating him in a hotel in Port Hacourt. Koye had developed the symptoms and rather than report himself to the authorities he escaped to another city.

The doctor that treated him died of Ebola and an elderly woman who shared the same hospital room with Dr Enemou also died of Ebola disease, all as a result of his unreasonable action. He survived the disease. We asked Nigerians if the law quoted above should be invoked on Koye. Read their comments:


The criminal code should be reviewed – Barrister Jones

That criminal code under offences against public health section 247 ought to have been reviewed in the light of new developments so that the punishment will be commensurate to the severity of the offence. What is 6 months imprisonment compared to all the people that carrier might kill?

Regarding the spread of Ebola, the law should be extended to all the accomplices – those who helped the carrier of the disease to escape from monitoring.

Olubukun Koye committed a crime – Ifunnaya Nwadinobi, Trader

Olubukun Koye is a learned person who knew the aftermath of his actions. His action was criminal but I will also blame the Nigerian government for the way he escaped. The primary focus of any government should be the safety of her citizenry but that is not the case in Nigeria. Olubukun Okoye’s case shows the level of incompetence on the path of the present administration. The best thing is just to leave him alone to face the wrath of God in judgment.

To leave him to live is inhuman – Madam Mercy Ndubiri, Trader

That man should be killed for killing others intentionally. I know the law says he is liable to six months imprisonment but I think that is too lenient for a wicked being like him. To leave this man to live is inhuman. But with the provision of the law, he should spend a year in jail.  

His act can be likened to that of a wizard – Jennifer Nwachukwu, Student

Let us leave Olubukun Okoye to God for judgment but humanly speaking, Koye is not worthy to live. That act can be likened to that of a wizard and a witch or wizard should be killed as the bible commands.  

Koye is wicked and self centered – Odunukwe, Trader

I think Olubukun Okoye should be dealt with, although I don’t pray for any other epidemic in Nigeria but he should be made to pay for people like him  are wicked and self centered. He should be

arrested and made to face the music squarely within the six months imprisonment according to the law of the federation.

Our security system is porous Evelyn, Businesswoman

Koye at the time of taking this decision was not thinking right. He was probably confused and so should not be blamed at all.  I really blame the government for this mishap. If the government can not secure such people then we should all know this country is now a shadow of itself.. This act also shows that our security system is porous. My advice to the government is to ensure that the isolation centers remain secure in other to achieve the reason for which it was created. Every Nigerian should remain conscious.

Six months  not enough – Blessing Okeke, Hair Stylist

He should be jailed. I don’t think six months are even enough.  People have lost their lives as a result of his actions, so he should also die. I think a life imprisonment is a better punishment for him.

He should face the law – Ichie Akajiugo, Village Head

Since there are provisions in the law for such offences, he should be made to face the law, since it’s a criminal offence.

Our judiciary is weak in passing judgment – Mr. Anele Kelvin, Businessman

He was aware that he had the virus and didn’t want to die alone. As a country, there are laws guiding us, so I believe the law should take its course, though our judicial system is usually weak in delivering judgment.

The law should take its course – Okey Uju, Freight Forwarder

It’s a criminal act and the law should take its course to serve as a deterrent to other people, not just on Ebola, but for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. There should be more awareness on these infections. In a way Ebola has helped us to be more hygiene conscious.

He should be jailed for a year – Princewill Hillary, Businessman

Personally, I would say he should be jailed for one year, because if not for him, the virus would not spread  to Port harcourt. But because of God, he should be left alone.

He should be charged with murder – Mr. Lanre Martins, Trader

For intentionally spreading that deadly virus, he should face the music. He should be apprehended and charged with murder. If he wasn’t aware that he had the virus, it would be a different issue. But he was aware and he escaped  only to end up infecting another person. He should be apprehended.