By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Mobile Court on Monday in Abuja convicted 33 persons who were arrested and arraigned for not wearing facemasks in public places within the city centre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convicts were said to have violated the the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulation, 2021, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
NAN also reports that some of the violators who were convicted after pleading guilty to the charges read out by the prosecutor, were fined N2,000 each with an option of engaging in supervised community service.
The presiding Magistrate, Idayat Akanni, after counselling the convicts on the need to follow the COVID-19 protocols religiously, noted that those who pleaded not guilty would be remanded in a correctional facility.
She also allowed for those who pleaded not guilty to be bailed, if they can meet the bail bond of N10,000 each.
Addressing newsmen afte the judgment, Mr Ihkaro Attah, Head, Media, Publicity and Enlightenment of the FCT Ministerial Taskforce on Enforcement of COVID-19 Protocols, vowed that the taskforce would not be deterred in ensuring that the virus was defeated in the territory.
Attah noted that FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello was committed to ensuring that the nation’s capital was disease free.
He stated that the Chairman of the taskforce and the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, had assured of his unrelenting efforts in giving the required backing to the enforcement.
Attah confirmed that “33 persons were arrested, arraigned and convicted, we are on track and will not give up.
“I think people are becoming COVID-19 fatigue, a little bit tired of wearing of facemasks, washing their hands and maintaining the protocols, but we will sustain the enforcement.”
He explained that the mobile court sits every day and violators would continually be arraigned. (NAN)