July 23, 2020

Ekiti convicts 150 face mask defaulters


By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado-Ekiti

No fewer than 150 persons have been prosecuted in Ekiti State for violation of mandatory use of face mask.

Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, who made the disclosure on Thursday, wondered why the residents had continued to flout the COVID-19 guideline as it concerned face mask use despite the sensitization before now and the sanctions on the violators since Monday when the face mask enforcement began.

Fapohunda, in a telephone conversation with journalists in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, said, “we have prosecuted over 150 face mask use violators in three days at the Special Offences Court set up to try the offenders. I wonder why these people have refused to comply with the regulations put in place to protect them from contracting COVID-19.

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“The violators, who are convicted, had been getting fines of between N3,000 and N5,000 each at the discretion of the magistrate in addition to community service. What will it cost them to buy and use face maks to protect themselves?

“But we will continue to embark on sensitization as the enforcement goes on. Our mission is to prevent the escalation of COVID-19 in the state. This is why we will continue to implore our people to use a face mask, observe social distancing, and as well other regulations to keep the virus away,” Fapohunda said.

The offenders, who were arrested in various parts of Ado Ekiti including Ajilosun, Ijigbo, Old Garage, Okesa, Fajuyi, Adebayo and Basiri, were taken to the special court sitting at the Fajuyi Pavillion where they were convicted for kicking against the Ekiti State Coronavirus Disease (Prevention of Infection) Regulations 2020.

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The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (retd), disclosed that accredited security men and men of the Ekiti State Traffic Management Agency had been properly briefed to enforce the law as it related particularly to face mask use.

Ogundana advised car owners on the use of the face mask, saying, “If you don’t have it, it constitutes an offense. You must have the face mask with you in your car”.