Disobedience to stay-at-home order attracts 1-month imprisonment or N100,000 fine

March 27, 2020
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Disobedience to stay-at-home order by the Lagos State Government will henceforth attract one-month imprisonment or N100,000 fine or three months community service as punishment.

These are prescribed in the coronavirus law enacted on Friday by the Lagos State House of Assembly. It was said that the emergency bill will empower the state government to strengthen the fight to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Lagos.

The bill, sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, – the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020 – provides Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu the legislative concurrence to spend an initial N20 billion to effectively contain the virus and enforce compliance by residents in the state.

The bill was presented in the House on Thursday by the Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, after which it scaled the first and second readings.

It was then passed to the House Committee on Health for further legislative actions.

The bill was later laid before the House by the Committee Chairman on Health, Hakeem Sokunle, after which it scaled the third reading as a result of the urgent requirements to ensure its speedy passage.

It gives the governor the opportunity to make recourse back to the House before any regulations.

The bill also stipulates a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one-month imprisonment in the correctional centre, or three months community service.

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

Section 8 of the bill makes provision for the Coronavirus Trust Fund, while the bill empowers the governor to declare a state of emergency of up to three months if the situation requires so.

The lawmaker, representing Ikeja Constituency II, Adedamola Kasunmu, was of the view that it is important to alleviate the impact of the virus on the economy of Lagos.

He noted that the bill would enable the executive to expend necessary funds to curtail the spread of the virus by providing adequate facilities in the state-owned hospitals.

Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa II, said: “We urge Lagosians to bear with us. Pandemics are not new, but the way government and people react to it matters to 150 states in the world.

“Lagos recorded the first case, so they should look at the possibility to broaden it to capture much more.”

Rotimi Olowo, representing Somolu I, noted that the spread of the virus was unprecedented and as a result, stringent measures needed to be taken to forestall the pandemic.

Presiding at the plenary, Speaker Obasa said the contingency plan in the budget cannot sort out the current issue.

“Government needs to be seen doing something, making effective pronouncements. The governor can make recourse back to the House if need be.

“If the budget procedure takes much time that can’t suffice, the kick-off fund will help,” he said.

It is obvious that compliant with the restriction of movement in Lagos State is no ,longer a matter of choice but a compulsion to save the lives of the residents.

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