By Francis Sardauna
The four mobile courts constituted by the Katsina State Government to try violators of its lockdown order has convicted 224 out of the 423 persons arraigned for violating the stay-at-home directive imposed by Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
The Magistrate courts instituted by the state Chief Judge, Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar, are situated in Katsina metropolis, Daura and Dutsin-Ma Local Government Areas.
Governor Masari had locked down 10 local governments of Daura, Katsina, Dutsin-Ma, Mani, Safana, Jibia, Kankia, Musawa, Matazu and Batagarawa following the confirmation of 40 cases of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in the areas by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The State Chief Registrar, Mr. Kabir Shu’aibu, in a statement issued yesterday, said 25 accused persons were convicted and sentenced for community service in the state.
He said 32 returnees from Kano, Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt were also apprehended and handed over to the rapid response team of the State Taskforce on COVID-19.
The state chief registrar reiterated that 29 of the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and were referred to Police for further interrogation.
He said: “As at 29th April, 2020, 224 accused persons were convicted and sentenced to pay various sums of money as fine. 18 accused persons on transit to Niger Republic were referred to Immigration Service for further action. 25 accused persons were sentenced to community service.
“Furthermore, 49 accused persons pleaded not guilty and they were referred to the police for further investigation, while 32 accused persons found to be coming into Katsina from Kano, Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt were referred to the Rapid Response team of the taskforce on COVID-19 for appropriate action.
“19 accused persons were warned and discharged after signing bond of undertaking to remain indoors. 51 persons were discharged having satisfied the courts of their reasons for being outdoors.
“There were three accused persons who for one or the other had their sentences suspended. Two cases were stroke out and one vehicle was impounded. In summary, 423 cases were entertained by the four mobile courts”.