An Osun State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Osogbo, on Tuesday sentenced an expatriate, Elisan Mohammed and 52 residents of the state to two hours community service without an option of fine over their failure to wear face masks in a public place.
The state COVID-19 Joint Task Force had arrested the 56 violators in different areas of the state and they were prosecuted by the Ministry of Justice.
The prosecution team from the ministry led by Mr Adekunle Adeniyi told the court that Elisan Mohammed and 55 others on the of August 4, 2020 at 11:30am conducted themselves in a manner to cause a breach of public peace by not following laid down guidelines with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic as stipulated by Osun State Government, thus endangering the lives of the general public and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249(d)(3) of Criminal Code Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.
“Also, Ajewole Siju on the aforementioned date and time conducted herself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the public peace, she obstructed the cause of justice by resisting lawful arrest and assaulted one Mrs Fadare Grace, an NCDC Officer and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 126 of the Criminal Code, cap 34 Vol.II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002,” Adeniyi said.
The expatriate and other defendant pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against them.
Mr Najite Okobe, who was the legal counsel to all the defendant urged the court not to convict, but caution them all because they are first time offenders.
He also appealed to the court discharge three of the defendants on health ground. He said one of them is a pregnant woman and the other two people, (Ajani Damilare and one other) were on their way to the hospital when they were arrested.
The Magistrate, Mr Adebayo Ajala, convicted and sentenced Elisan Mohammed and 52 other others to two hours community service without an option of fine. Ajewole Siju to two hours community service for the two counts. She was , however, given the option of fine for the second count.The magistrate cautioned and discharged Ajani Damilare, Olagunju Tolulope and one other on health ground.