The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill authorising security agencies to arrest people who scorn directives intended to stop the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Part of the bill recommended that those who disobey the coronavirus lockdown order be jailed for a month or fined ₦100,000.
The Lagos lawmakers passed the bill at their sitting on Thursday the 26th of March 2020.
The bill made up of 25 sections was titled ‘A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes’.
The bill also authorised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least ₦20 billion to battle the pandemic in the State.
The bill read, “The Bill empowers the Governor to incur the Kick-off expenditure sum of ₦20 billion to combat and stop the spread of the Coronavirus 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 those 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.”
As of the time of this report, Lagos, which is recognised as the epicentre of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria, has a total of 32 confirmed cases.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa gave a direction to the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to send a clean copy of the passed bill to governor Sanwo-Olu for his assent.