Lockdown: Statewide operation in force to apprehend joggers in Lagos – PPRO
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Bala Elkana says there is a statewide police operation to apprehend joggers and other violators of the Lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Elkana said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the trial of 202 fitness enthusiasts by the Mobile Courts at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti, Lagos on Thursday for disobeying the lockdown directive.
He said the offenders were arrested in at least 15 areas of Lagos, which included Itire, Ogudu, Ikeja, Sabo and Maroko.
“Right now we have 202 persons to who have either been arraigned or are waiting to be arraigned before the two mobile courts here today. We are bringing them all into the Mobile Courts in small numbers because of the social distancing guidelines”.
“Yesterday we had 78 persons and we are still expecting more persons today so the 202 is likely to increase,” the PPRO said.
He noted that all the resources of the police in Lagos was being used to enforce the Lockdown Order.
“All the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) are out leading their teams, all the Area Commanders are out supervising. We have pulled out all our resources to ensure that we all succeed in a time like this in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.
The PPRO noted that the fitness enthusiasts arrested took advantage of the empty streets of Lagos to violate the presidential lockdown directive.
“They took advantage of the empty streets. If you take a look at the people arrested here, they are in their sports wears, they converted the empty streets to crowded sports arenas”.
“We saw all the photos on social media negating the social distancing principles some were even playing football with spectators watching,” he said.
Elkana noted that the conduct of the fitness enthusiasts was unacceptable and that if they had the urge to exercise, they should have done it within the privacy of their homes.
He said individuals who were exercising alone on the streets would be apprehended by the authorities for flouting the lockdown directive and would face the full wrath of the law.
“Our actions determine how we are going to conquer the virus or allow it to consume all of us. The Order is stay at home and not on the streets,” he said.
Some of the offenders who pleaded guilty to the offence were handed fines ranging from N5,000 to N10,000 and also ordered to immediately commence a two-hour community service by the Magistrates of the Mobile Courts. (NAN)