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Published On: Tue, Apr 28th, 2020

COVID-19 lockdown violations: FCT Mobile Courts convict 5 clerics, 68 others

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By Stanley Onyekwere

An FCT Mobile Court, presided over by Magistrate Idayat Akonni, has convicted five clerics, among them three Imams and two Pastors for violating the presidential order shutting down the nation’s capital city, in the wake of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
The Court sitting at the Eagle Square in the heart of the nation’s capital city sentence the religious leaders to one month imprisonment.
Magistrate Akonni however gave them an option of a fine of N5, 000 in addition to a supervised community service for one day.
Those convicted were Imam Abdullahi Mohammed of Gwarinpa Estate, Imam Suleiman Idris of Mobi close, Area 11, Garki and Deputy Imam Useni Umar of the same address.
Others were Pastor Phillips Olumbori of Celestial Church of Christ, Lugbe and Rev Moses Chinedu of Mercy City Gospel Centre, Aco Estate, Lugbe.
It was gathered that the various FCT mobile courts, which sat at different locations within the Territory, convicted over 73 violators on Sunday.
Speaking with newsmenafter the court verdict, the Chairman FCT Ministerial Enforcement Taskteam on Covid-19 operations, Ikharo Attah described it as a welcome development, as it would serve as deterrent to others.
Attah wondered “why it has become very difficult for custodians and enforcers of divine laws to obey national laws that do not prohibit or infringe on their freedom of religion.
“The verdict, though mild, is a welcome development. Those sentenced should be worried because they are now ex-convicts having been found guilty and sentenced by a competent court of law.”

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