Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill empowering security agencies to arrest residents who violate lockdown order in the state.

The lockdown is aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Wednesday night confirmed 23 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, bringing the total to 174.

Nine of the latest cases were recorded in Lagos state, seven in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, while five were confirmed in Akwa Ibom, with Kaduna and Bauchi recording one each.

Till date, Lagos has recorded 91 cases, more than anywhere else in Africa’s most populous nation.

Read Also: COVID-19 Lockdown: Muslim worshippers ‘attack’ Task Force in Lagos

The bill, passed on Wednesday, also empowers Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend at least N20 billion to combat the pandemic in the state.

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to prioritise sending a clean copy of the passed bill to the governor for his assent.

“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 bill read.

“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 that the 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.”

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