COVID-19: Lagos enacts law to jail offenders who flout lockdown directive

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill empowering security agencies to arrest people who flout directives aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Part of the bill recommended that those who flout the coronavirus lockdown directive be jailed for a month or fined N100,000.

The Lagos lawmakers passed the bill at their sitting on Thursday.
The bill, titled ‘A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes’, has 25 sections.
The bill also empowers the Governor to spend N20 billion as Kick-off expenditure to combat the pandemic and stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Lagos State which is considered the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

It also reads: “The Governor in combating the Coronavirus pandemic shall declare a state of emergency in the State to protect the people of the State from the pandemic.

“The Bill calls for a Trust Fund named Coronavirus Pandemic Trust Fund with a board to manage this, but supervised by the Executive. The Trust fund shall consist of funds and material donations from individuals, private and public organizations.
“As from the commencement of this law, only essential services such as food supply, pharmacy shops, water supply, petrol filling Stations and other relevant agencies shall be in full operations unless the Governor declares otherwise.

“All security agencies in the state including the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency shall effectively ensure that policy directives of the Governor are implemented and enforced.
“Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.

“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one month imprisonment or three months Community service.”

Where the offence is not spelt out, it attracts N200,000 and also allows the leadership of the various arms of government to structure their own restriction format.

Of the 51 confirmed cases of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos state has 32.

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