By Stanley Onyekwere
In the wake of the activation of about five mobile courts to try violators of the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown order, no fewer than 20 persons were arraigned and convicted in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.
While they were fined between N1,000 and N5, 000, those with vehicles would only get them back after the lockdown has been lifted, with the likelihood of paying for demurrages incurred in the process.
Our correspondent reports that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday secured the conviction through its various mobile Court that had sittings at different strategic locations within the Territory.
This was as the FCT Administration disclosed of its readiness to clampdown on residents, who usually engage in early morning fitness exercises, especially jogging around town.
Chairman of the Enforcement Team, Comrade Ikharo Attah made this assertion while giving an update on the level of compliance with emergency regulations put in place by both the Federal Government and the FCT Administration to control the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
He said a fake policeman was also arrested in the Mpape area of the Territory, adding that more mobile courts would be established soon.
“We have at least five Mobile Courts and we are hoping to open more with the assistance of the Legal Unit of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services DRTS.
“As of 1pm, we already secured 20 convictions, while two pleaded not guilty. We also arrested a man who is not a policeman but who was wearing a police face cap and he has been detained at the Police Station in Mpape.
“We were on the Kubwa-Mpape road as early as 4am but we are going to tighten our grip on these areas because when we locked down Mpape to traffic, we discovered that residents were sneaking out massively on foot to access Maitama.
“While we are continuing with our general enforcement, we are going to start arresting joggers as from Friday. We now have thousands of people coming out in some areas to jog, very early in the morning. We are going to arrest them”, he stated.
It was however gathered that a total of Covid 19 mobile court have been inaugurated to try COVID-19 lockdown order contraventions, and upon conviction, varying fines that goe with 7 days community service are imposed.
In particular, defaulting individuals 10k fine and community service for 7days, offenders with Tricycles and
Motorbikes pay N7,000.00 each as fines while those who drive cars and trucks get N20,000.00 and N50,000.00 fines respectively.