The COVID-19 Task Force in Ekiti, on Monday arrested not less than 60 people who violated regulation on the compulsory use of face mask.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offenders were taken to a Special Court, where they were convicted for contravening Coronavirus Disease Regulations 2020.
Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force, who spoke on the development, said the enforcement would henceforth be a regular exercise.
Aluko said that the offenders were arrested in various parts of Ado Ekiti including Ajilosun, Ijigbo, Old Garage, Okesa, Fajuyi, Adebayo and Basiri.
”A fine of N5,000 is imposed on the convicts for refusal to wear face masks in public, in line with the new law to contain the disease,” the task force chairman said.
He expressed concern over refusal of some citizens to wear face mask which cost as low as N100.
”We are not interested in charging people on anything. We want them to understand that face mask must be worn.
“It happens that sometime there are people who will not obey the rules unless they are fined. It costs only N100 or N200 to buy a face mask and a little inconvenience to wear it.
“Now you have to be caught and charge N5,000,’’ Aluko said.
He urged residents to comply to contain the spread of the virus.
Also speaking, Retired Brig.-Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, said that the security personnel had been briefed to enforce the law.
Ogundana advised car owners to always be with face masks as stop-and-search might be conducted to enforce compliance.
He said: “If you are in your car alone and you are not wearing a face mask, you may not be arrested but we can ask you because you have to come down from your car and go somewhere.
“If you don’t have it, it constitutes an offence. You must have the face mask with you in your car or in your pocket because security personnel will ask of it.”
Ekiti State Traffic Management Agency (EKSTMA) led by the General Manager, Chief Femi Olanrewaju, also stationed officers of the agency in strategic locations to enforce the use of face masks.
Olanrewaju said the use of face masks in the public is now compulsory, noting that the personnel had been positioned at junctions, traffic light areas, markets and bus stops to arrest offenders.