Covid-19: NULAI, NBA Provide Free Legal Services for Violators of Lockdown Order
The Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association, has been providing pro-bono legal representations to lockdown offenders who are unable to afford legal services at the 13 mobile courts in the Federal Capital Territory. The Federal Capital Territory Administration had activated mobile courts to try and prosecute violators as part of measures to ensure strict adherence to President Muhammadu Buhari’s stay-at-home directive to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Covid 19: Extra-Judicial Infringements and Abuse of Powers by State Governors
On Sunday 10th of May, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State personally supervised the extrajudicial demolition of Prudest Hotel in Alode, and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne, both in Elem Local Government Area of Rivers State, for violating the Covid-19 lockdown directives in the state. He also announced that vehicles impounded for violating the lockdown regulations in the state would be auctioned and that the defaulters would be tried at mobile courts.
The demolitions have generated a lot of negative reactions across the country and his actions have been severally condemned as illegal and a gross abuse of power; as they amount to Governor Wike’s arrogation of the powers of the court to himself, and a clear violation of several provisions of the Nigerian Constitution. The Governor conversely stated that he had done no wrong, claiming that he acted under and within the purview of an Executive Order which had neither been challenged nor set aside by any competent court of law.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and some other CSOs have threatened to take legal action against the state governor.
Similarly, in Kaduna, the State Governor; Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday 6th May ordered the demolition GM Car Park and Relaxation Centre – an inn opposite the Command Secondary School in Kaduna South Council Area, where people had been drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Security Forces Brutality
In a viral social media video, Cross River state coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Curfew Enforcement Personnel were seen flogging violators at Triangle, Marian, Calabar. View the video
Almajiri Children Migration during Covid-19.
There have been several reports of Almajiri children migrating towards the southern parts of the country even amidst the interstate border closures. News of the interception of at least 5 trucks smuggling Almajirai intercepted and turned back by the border patrol team in Cross River State, and parts of Abia state have made the rounds. A similar case was reported in Lagos on May 5, 2020, when a truckload of Almajirai was intercepted before gaining entry at the Ojodu-Berger border into Lagos state.
The rationale for the movement of these children southward is yet to be determined.