Lagos Assembly Passes New Law to Sanction Violators of Lockdown Directive

  • Lifts suspension on four members

Eddie Alegbe

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill empowering security agencies to arrest people who flout directives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

This is coming as the lawmakers thursday lifted the suspension placed on four of its members.

The bill, passed into law thursday, recommended that those who flout the lockdown directive be jailed for a month or fined N100,000

The bill, titled ‘A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes’, has 25 sections.

The bill also empowered Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least N20 billion to combat the pandemic in Lagos State.

The Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

“The Bill empowers the governor to incur the Kick-off expenditure sum of N20 billion to combat and stop the spread of the pandemic.

“The governor in combating the Coronavirus pandemic shall declare a state of emergency in the State to protect the people of the State from the pandemic.

“The Bill calls for a Trust Fund named Coronavirus Pandemic Trust Fund with a board to manage this, but supervised by the Executive. The Trust fund shall consist of funds and material donations from individuals, private and public organizations.

“As from the commencement of this law, only essential services such as food supply, pharmacy, shops, water supply, petrol filling Stations and other relevant agencies shall be in full operations unless the Governor declares otherwise.

“All security agencies in the state, including the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency shall effectively ensure that policy directives of the governor are implemented and enforced.

“Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.

“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one month imprisonment or three months Community service.”

Meanwhile, the state assembly has lifted the suspension placed on four of its members.

The Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa announced the move at the start of plenary yesterday.

Obasa said that the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu called a meeting on Tuesday to intervene in the crisis and directed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.

The affected lawmakers are Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, who was the Deputy Majority Leader; Hon. Rotimi Abiru, who was the Chief Whip; Hon. Moshood Oshun and Hon. Raheem Adewale.

Their indefinite suspension was announced at the plenary on Monday, March 9, and the affected lawmakers and their aides were later denied access to the legislative complex.