The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill authorising security agencies to arrest persons who violate the state’s stay-at-home order issued to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The lawmakers passed the bill entitled: “A Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes” at plenary on Thursday.
The bill recommends that residents of Lagosians who flout the stay-at-home directive be jailed for one month or fined N100,000.
The bill read: “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 closedown or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the closedown 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.”
The bill, which has 25 section, also empowers Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least N20 billion to combat the pandemic in Lagos State.
According to the proposed law, the money would be endowed in a trust fund with a board to manage the disbursement.
“The Bill empowers the Governor to incur the Kick-off expenditure sum of N20 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,” the document read.
Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos Assembly, directed the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to Governor Sanwo-Olu for his assent.
Lagos State has recorded the highest number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Nigeria with 32 out of 51 patients.