Over 100 people have been arrested and arraigned at the Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State over violation of the state government’s lockdown in some parts of the state capital following outbreak of Coronavirus.
The suspects, who were arrested by Police in different parts of Port Harcourt between Monday and Thursday were charged with three-count of conspiracy, disobedient to Governors’ directive, street trading which has caused a breach of public peace and thereby committed an offence.
Three magistrates who presided over the cases, Dr Rita Oguguo, Chief Magistrate D.D. Ihua-Maduenyi and Senior Magistrate V E Nweke in their various courts, granted bail to the suspects.
The suspects who pleaded guilty were fined N10,000 while those who pleaded not guilty were granted bail with N100,000 with two sureties as their sureties addresses must be verified by the prosecutors. Their cases were adjourned to 6th of April for hearing.
Speaking with one of the counsels who handled a case in one of the courts, Izitoh Orokwo, said despite the suffering of the suspect, he commended the way the case was handled by the magistrate.
Meanwhile some families of those arrested narrated their ordeal of paying N10,000 and above before securing bail for their loved ones.
They expressed displeasure in the arrest of their families, adding that the social distancing being canvased by government was played out in the court cell where more than 100 persons were put together.
A Coalition of Rivers Civil Society Organisation accused the Police and Judiciary for not observing Social Distancing while suspects were being prosecuted in court.
You should not allow people who are hungry and in fear because of the pandemic to suffer arrest by your government. We all know that the average Nigerian survive on their daily hustles.
Instead of your government to provide food for the people who voted you into power, you now end up arresting them. Wike, these are people who stood with you and now they need assistance from your government.
Today they need your help to survive the pandemic that is shaking the world. Arresting people should not even be notice in Rivers State but you arrest them to teach them how apply a method that will scare them to stay at home. Corona virus did not kill them , it is you who want to kill them. Your government did not feed them but your government is taking away their last penny. Wike are you that wicked?
You don’t even know what the next 3 months will look like. You will be tired to arrest when Corona virus will visit you in person.
I am happy because Corona virus does not know either you are poor or rich, either you are a politician or not. Bad news is that you will soon see the other side of pandemic.
So arresting people should be out of your plan but to strategies on how to fight the virus as other civilize society are doing. If you provide food they will never be walking on the street or selling things on the street.
The police or soldiers who are shooting or arresting, I hope they are human beings…COVID-19 will catch-up with them soon. Reality is here and Wike is busy arresting. kabashlumbakekilotico…. i just dey laugh in Heavenly voice.
Be aware that Corona virus visited Aso Rock without observing any protocol or invitation.
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