Written by Sarah NEGEDU
Lock down: FCTA mobile courts convicts 62 violators
About 62 persons have so far been convicted by the FCTA mobile courts for violating the sit-at-home order, since the court began sitting on Wednesday, 16, April 2020.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration Enforcement Team told newsmen in Abuja that on Thursday alone, 42 offenders were convicted by its Mobile Court that sat at different locations within the territory.
Leader of the Team, Mr. Ikharo Attah who confirmed the development, said that the establishment of the mobile court has strengthened the operations of his team, and reinvigorated its commitment towards achieving the objectives of the lockdown order.
He noted that while none of the convicts have been sent to any Correctional Centre, they have paid various fines for the offences they pleaded guilty to.
He disclosed that about 38 Motorcycles were impounded in Dutse Alhaji for violating the ban placed on Okada operations in Kubwa and Dutse axis during this lockdown period.
According to him, the convicts often pleaded guilty to the offences, but have always prayed the court for leniency. He also stated that while the judges remained firm in administration of justice, they have also deployed human face in punishing the violators.
He therefore enjoined residents to obey the sit-at-home order of government and save themselves from unnecessary hardship that may follow the disobedience.
He said, "today, about 42 persons were convicted by the mobile court that sat at four different location around the territory. The mobile courts operations are both backed by the Department of Road Traffic Services, and Abuja Environmental Protection Board laws.
"The Enforcement Team has stopped being the prosecutor and the judge. What we do with the Mobile Court, is that once we arrest you for violating the lockdown, you will be handed over to the court.
"We invaded a beer parlour in Dutse Alhaji that was overcrowded despite the lockdown, the people were arrested and handed over to the court.
"No convict has been taken to any Correctional Centre, because the mobile courts are operating with human face, the judges are very considerate. Most suspect who appeared before the courts pleaded guilty and were given fine to pay.
"The fines they pay is according to the discretion of the judge. Vehicles impounded will have to remain with the Vehicle Inspection Officers till the end of the pandemic."