Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
Edo State Government has constituted mobile courts across the state to try violators of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The mobile courts are designated in all the 18 local government areas of the state.
However, while the mobile courts in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor Local Government Areas are to be presided by Chief Magistrates (Special Grade), other local government areas would be headed by the most senior Magistrate.
The setting up of the courts is sequel to the Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020, invoked by the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Obaseki had last Tuesday signed the Quarantine Regulations made pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, the Public Health Law and other legislation, which gives legal sanctions to the response actions of the state government to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Explaining the rationale behind this, the Chief Registrar of High Court of Justice, Idemudia Aziegbemhin, in statement at the weekend, said the state judiciary constituted the mobile courts to determine cases arising from violations of the provisions of the regulation.
He noted: “Sequel to the signing into law of the Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 and pursuant to its provisions and guidelines issued thereto as well as towards the enforcement of the aforesaid provisions, the general public, especially stakeholders in the Criminal Justice Administration sector, is hereby informed that the Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin, has constituted Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Mobile Courts 2020 to determine cases arising from violations of the provisions of the said regulation.
“To this end, five Chief Magistrates (Special Grade) have been mandated to preside over the designated courts in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha, and Egor Local Governments Areas. In addition, the most senior Magistrate in other local government areas in Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North are also constituted as mobile courts in their jurisdictions for this purpose.”
Aziegbemhin said following the constitution of the mobile courts, “the police, state prosecutors and other stakeholders in the Criminal Justice sector of the state are by this notice invited to file their cases and prosecute violators of the provisions of the regulation in the designated courts in order to give full effect to the law.”