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COVID-19: Court remands protocol defaulters in Minna Correctional Centre

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A Minna Chief Magistrate Court No1 has ordered the remand of 26 persons in the Minna Correctional Centre for their refusal to use any protective facemasks and observing social distancing order of the Niger State government.

They were arrested by the police through a reliable information that a large number of persons were seen gathered at Tunga Niteco area of Minna, the Niger State capital.

According to Police first information Report (FIR), made available in court and obtained by CAPITALPOST, some suspected criminal elements were operating at a Hollywood Hotel in Minna.

Police detectives attached to Rapid Response Unit, Department of Operations State command headquarters, Minna led by one ASP Sabo Makama while on patrol vehicle in Tunga arrested the Director of Hollywood Hotel Minna, Mr. Abdulrauf Adejare.

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Alongside those arrested are Adebayi Segun the Batman and 24 others who are commercial sex workers operating at the said Hotel which is a brothel.

The Police.said when they were questioned, they couldn’t give a reasonable account of themselves.

Further police investigation revealed that they were all not using any protective facemasks and were not observing the social distancing order of the Niger State government.

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“You all are thereby suspected to have committed the above offences.”

The Police prosecutor, Ahmed Saidu ASP told the court that the offences contravened keeping a brothel, drinking alcohol, hang out and failing to comply with the restriction requirement imposed under COVID-19 Order which is punishable under sections 201, 403, 306 of the penal code and section17 (1), (A)(2), of the Niger State COVID-19 (Prevention, Containment and Emergency) Order 2020.

When the charge was read to them by the presiding Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Hauwa Baba Yusuf they all pleaded not guilty and the police prosecutor told the court that the facts of the matter is contained in the first information Report .

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The prosecutor told the Magistrate to remand them in Correctional Centre, saying the investigation of the case was still ongoing.

At this point, Barrister Jerry Ekeh leading seven other counsels made an oral application for their bail.

While remanding them at the Correctional custody, the chief Magistrate Hajiya Hauwa Yusuf requested the counsels to formally apply for their bail and adjourned the case to January, 20th for the application to be heard.

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