The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Yaba, on Wednesday, sentenced 78 persons to one-month community service for violating the state government’s lockdown order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It was gathered that 37 of the violators were arrested by the police while exercising on the Gbagada Expressway; 18 others were apprehended in the Ajegunle area of the state, while the remaining 23 persons were nabbed in others parts of the state.

The violators were arraigned separately on one count of unlawful gathering before Magistrate Peter Ojo.

While arraigning the Gbagada group, the prosecutor, A. A. Adegoke told the court that they committed the offence on Tuesday on Bush Street/Gbagada Expressway/Ogudu area of the state.

He added, “They gathered at the aforementioned address with over 20 persons in attendance, contrary to the social distancing directive of Mr Governor of Lagos, made pursuant to Regulations 8(1)(a) and (b) and 17(1) of the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations, 2020, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 58 of the Public Health Law, 2015.”

Some of the defendants are Emeka John, Kingsley Jacob, Anthony Fashanu, Chukwuma Okwubaba, Luke Eboro, Kenneth Obasuyi, Julius Joel, Victor Tamund, Egbo Nnamdi, Fortune Sunday, Faith Omoefe, Abdulsalam Hammed, Rabiu Aslam, Phil Omoefe, Gbadamosi Oluwakemi, Edopke Eric Emeka, Amaka Chuks, Ismaila Kareem, Nduke Kingsley, Barnabas James, Adeleke Sunday, Ibrahim Olaniran and Daniel Oduma.

Others are Bashua Oluwaseyi, Folajin Ebunoluwa, Folajin Seyi, Joshua Oyenusi, Adam Abdulrahman, Ayomide Adenuga, Omoniyi Oladayo, Bamidele Stephen, Chisom Onwusorom, Oloruntoba Aisha, Obi Okoye and Olagoke Anuoluwa, who all pleaded guilty to the charge.

However, Adetutu Aderogbangba and Segun Joshua pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Sentencing those who pleaded guilty, the magistrate ordered that they should be quarantined for 14 days at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba, or any other medical facility designated by the state Commissioner for Health.

He ordered that they should be tested twice for COVID-19 and if the result was negative, they should then serve their community service at the state secretariat, Alausa.

“They must ensure that the premises are kept clean. Where their test result is positive, they shall be remanded for treatment until they are found negative. Then, they will proceed to community service,” Ojo stated.

The magistrate added that those, who pleaded not guilty, should be quarantined for 14 days and adjourned till April 21 for their re-arraignment and trial.

The prosecutor, while arraigning the Ajegunle violators, told the court that they committed the offence on April 1 in the Ajegunle area of the state.

They include Adekunle Peter, 28; Rilwan Babajide, 18; Bukola Oyekola, 30; Ubogu Kennedy, 30; Yusuf Lawal, 25; Olamide Wasiu, 17; Saheed Isiaka, 24; Wisdom Edokpayi, 34; Duyilemi Michael, 34; and Ofen Francis, 30.

Others are Mukaila Babatunde, 19; Nwanga Sunday, 28; Chukwuma Ifeadi, 30; Kareem Akeem, 23; Chibuzor Okonkwo, 40; Zakariyu Mohammed, 29; Olasunkanmi Akanbi, 37; and Babatunde Olafusi, 40, who all pleaded guilty, while Obi Okoye pleaded not guilty.

Sentencing the violators who pleaded guilty, Ojo ordered that they should be quarantined for 14 days and tested for the COVID-19.

He added that they should be assigned to clean the Lagos State High Court for one month, between 9am and 3pm on weekdays, as their community service.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command, on Wednesday, said it had impounded over 600 vehicles for not complying with the lockdown order since it started.

Out of the 600 vehicles, it was gathered that 13, made up of three cars, seven buses and three four-wheel SUVs, were impounded on Wednesday in the Alapere area of the state with passengers and without valid reasons for being on the road.

It was learnt that some of the passengers in the buses were travelling to Ibadan, Oyo State.

Police personnel attached to the Rapid Response Squad, who impounded the vehicles, also dispersed over 150 youths, who were exercising in the Ketu-Alapere area of the state.

According to a statement by the RRS, the youth, who converged on the Samuel Adegboyega Village, allegedly defied the directives on lockdown and social distancing to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, despite being addressed on the essence of complying with the directives, the youth refused to leave for their various homes until the Commander of the RRS, Olatunji Disu, ordered the policemen to walk them down the road and disperse them.

It was gathered that the impounded vehicles had been taken to the Alapere Divisional Police Station.

The statement read in part, “The Commander, Rapid Response Squad, DCP Olatunji Disu, this morning (Wednesday) led a team of police officers to impound 13 vehicles in the Alapere area of the metropolis for not complying with the Federal Government’s stay-at-home directive, just as the team dispersed a group of over 150 youths exercising in Ketu-Alapere.

“The vehicles, which were made up of three cars, seven buses and three four-wheelers, were caught conveying passengers and had no valid reasons for being on the road.

“The commander, who led a team of police officers on the enforcement of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order to the Lagos Island, made a detour to Ketu-Alapere, where a long queue of vehicles was making its way towards the Ojota Bridge, inward Ibadan, where the vehicles were impounded.”