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COVID-19 : Ekiti orders arrest, prosecution of face mask defaulters

Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has said that it would from, on Monday, July 20, go tough on anyone who refuses to wear face mask and observe social distancing, noting that stiffer penalty awaits defaulters to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The state government also condemned the wrong believe by residents that Coronavirus was not real, said it would from Monday begin enforcement of COVID-19 regulations with appropriate sanctions for violators of use of face mask and social distancing.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice; Olawale Fapohunda, said Governor Kayode Fayemi, has directed that as today, there shall be full enforcement of COVID-19 regulations in the State. Some of the precautionary regulations include the compulsory wearing of face masks at public places; observance of social distancing as laid down by the regulations.

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He explained further that mobile courts have been established to try offenders and impose adequate sanctions which include but not limited to fines and community service.

The Attorney-General further explained that commercial motorcyclists as well as road transport workers whose passengers refuse or neglect to wear face masks shall be held liable.

The Attorney-General, however, reiterated the commitment of the Kayode Fayemi’s-led administration to the protection of human rights.

According to him, the Ministry of Justice has issued a regulation directing security agents to respect the rights of the populace while discharging their duties.

In another development, the state’s Attorney-General said that the Ministry of Justice has published details of another sexual offender in line with the Naming and Shaming policy of the State government.’

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According to him, the offender Bayo Akintewe, was a 66-year-old man who defiled a 16-year-old girl, noting that, it is the policy of Ekiti State government that sexual offenders will not benefit from the Prerogative of Mercy in the State.

He reiterated the commitment of the Ministry of Justice to work assiduously to make sure that there is access to justice for victims of sexual violence as soon as possible.