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Osun court remands woman for violating face mask rule

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A WOMAN named Omotola Awotunde has been remanded in custody by an Osun State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Osogbo for not wearing a face mask.

  Omotolawas arraigned alongside 98 others but pleaded not guilty to one count of breach of public peace by not following laid down guidelines in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic as stipulated by the Osun State Government.

  Meanwhile, 98 others were arraigned in three batches before magistrates Omisade and Modupe Awodele, over failure to wear face masks in public.

  Out of the figure, 96 were sentenced to community service, while the other two, after conviction, were cautioned and released on health grounds.

  Addressing the court, the prosecutor from the state Ministry of Justice, Mr Moses Faremi, said the 99 defendants on Monday, August 3, 2020, conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace by not following the laid down guidelines in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby endangering the lives of members of the public.

  According to him, the defendants committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249(d)(3) of the Criminal Code Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

  The 98 defendants pleaded guilty to the one count.

  Faremi urged the court to sentence them to community service to serve as a deterrent to others.

  But counsel for the defendants, Mr Muyideen Adeleye and S. Adeoti, pleaded with the court to caution and pardon them since they were all first time offenders.

  In her ruling, Awodele convicted, cautioned and released two of the defendants on health grounds, while she sentenced 43 others to three days community service without an option of fine.

  Similarly, Omisade, in his ruling, convicted the 53 defendants that appeared before him and sentenced them to five days community service with an option of N2,000 fine.

  Meanwhile, a journalist, Sikiru Obarayese, was assaulted while covering activities of men of the JTF enforcing COVID-19 regulations in Osogbo.

  While Obarayese confirmed the attack yesterday, he said the security men had demanded his identity card.

  While attempting to produce it, Obarayese said the officials assaulted him, leaving him with injuries.

  Magistrate Ishola Omisade subsequently remanded the defendant in police custody and adjourned the matter till Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

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