Lockdown violation: Kano courts prosecute over 500 defaulters
By Salisu Baso & Hassan Muhammad
The reckless violation of the lockdown order in Kano imposed by both the state and Federal Governments by some recalcitrant elements in the state has been effectively curtailed by the state government.
It achieved this through the establishment of mobile courts which have so far prosecuted over 500 offenders in the metropolis.
The emergence of the courts and their operations in different parts of the state now compelled the residents to take the lockdown more seriously as the defaulters now cough out amount, ranging from N500 to N3,000 to regain their freedom.
Following the inauguration of 11 Lockdown Mobile Courts by the state government to ensure compliance with the recent President Muhammadu Buhari’s order of total stay-at-home for two weeks in the state, they so far arrested and fined the above figures in two days.
The courts were constituted under the directive of the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as part of measures to ensure compliance with the stay-at-home order with a view to preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
It was observed that since the inauguration of the courts under the 11 Magistrates, they swung into action by attending a number of cases brought before them by security operators stationed within the state metropolis.
Our findings revealed that the defaulters arrested and found guilty were fined between N3, 000 and N500 in accordance with their various offences and most affected were tricycle operators, motorcycle riders and private car owners.
At Court 9, Fagge Local Government Area, presided by Hon. Ishaq Abdu Aboki, about 32 people were arrested and seven out of them were prosecuted since the commencement of the court on Monday.
However, in Nassarawa Local Government Area, Hon. Aminu Muhammad Gabari, who is heading Court 5, has apprehended over 50, out of which, 22 were found guilty and fined between N500 and N3,000 for none compliance of the order.
At Court 11, in Gwale Local Government Area, presided by Hon. Ibrahim Gwadabe, our investigation showed that from inception of the court sitting, about 70 cases were treated and many were found guilty.
Hon. Gwadabe expressed displeasure over the attitude of some people who when arrested used to say they were outside to attend funerals of their beloved ones.
He used the opportunity to caution them to avoid unnecessary movement in the name of condolences.
In Kano Municipal Local Government Area, the Mobile Court sitting at Gidan Murtala, headed by Hon. Tijjani Sale Minjibir, was seen busy compiling the data of defaulters, while in Dala Local Government Area, under Senior Magistrate Mustapha Hassan, the court had apprehended a total of 49 defaulters, with some of them fined between N3, 000 and N1, 000, defending on the types of offences they were charged for and later they were discharged.
Some of the offenders, Abba Sufyanu, who spoke to The Triumph, revealed that he was arrested on his way to attend a funeral prayer, while Hassan Abdullahi, who was found guilty for using his motorcycle to carry water in a jerry can, was fined too.
Our reporter contacted the Public Relations Officer of the state High Courts, Baba Jibo Muhammad, who said the state High Court, under Justice Nura Sagir Umar, in its support to the lockdown compliance within and outside the state, had inaugurated an 11 Magistrates to preside over the Mobile Courts.
Muhammad said the courts are to try cases of defaulters during the period under review and any other issues that may arise in consequence thereof.
He further said part of the punishment approved by the Chief Judge to the courts is community servicing or fine to any defaulter found loitering during the lockdown period, pointing out that any person arrested must have a genuine reason before he or she is released.
The spokesman said that the Chief Judge has warned heads of the Mobile Courts against any harassment in order to protect human right.
The 11 lockdown courts inaugurated were headed by Muhammad M. Jibrin, Auwalu Y. Sulaiman, Mustapha Hassan, Sadiku Sammani, Aminu Muhammad Gabari and Tijjani Sale Munjibir.
Others are Salisu Idris Sallama, Musa Ibrahim Umar, Ishaq Abdu Aboki, Farouk Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Gwadabe.