COVID-19: Pregnant woman on trial for face mask violation slumps

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A pregnant woman, Tolulope Olagunju, who was standing trial before Osun State Magistrates’ Court in Osogbo, for not wearing a face mask according to the laid down COVID-19 rules, slumped on Tuesday during a court session.

Daily Times gathered that Olagunju was arraigned alongside an expatriate, Elisan Mohammed, and 54 others arrested for not wearing face masks in public in Osogbo.

Shortly after her charge was read, Olagunju, who was standing near the dock, slumped and was helped to a seat inside the court by another defendant.

Addressing the court, the police prosecutor, Mr. Adekunle Adeniyi, said the 56 defendants on August 4 at 11.30 am engaged in conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace by not following laid down guidelines in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 249(d)(3) of the Criminal Code Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

The prosecution also accused one of the defendants, Siju Ajewole, of obstructing the cause of justice by resisting lawful arrest and assaulting an NCDC officer, Mrs. Fadare Grace.

All the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

The defence counsel, Najite Okobe, urged the court to caution and discharge them.

The Magistrate, Mr. Adebayo Ajala, convicted the 56 defendants and sentenced 53 of them to two hours of community service without an option of fine.

Ajala also sentenced Ajewole, who was arraigned for assault, to extra two hours of community service or an option of N2,000 fine.

He, however, cautioned and discharged Olagunju, a pregnant woman, and one Damilare Ajani, on health grounds.

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Oluwadamilola Adedeji

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