FOUR men have sentenced to spend 14 days in isolation by an Ilorin Magistrates Court for attempting to escape with a coronavirus patient identified as Kazeem Oladayo from a quarantine centre after he was diagnosed as Covid-19 positive.
In what is now becoming a habit across Nigeria, people tested as positive and asked to go into isolation, sometimes abscond because they ignorantly believe there is a social stigma attached to having coronavirus. In Lagos and Kano States for instance, health officials have had to launch house-to-house searches for patients who absconded from isolation centres.
Earlier today, the court, the Ilorin court sentenced Abdulganiyu Sadiq, Abdullah Isiaka, Sodiq Hakeem and Aremu Wasiu to 14 days in isolation for attempting to smuggle Mr Oladayo out of the Sobi Isolation Centre in Ilorin. Chief Magistrate Bio Solihu, also ordered the four men to pay a N20,000 fine each in addition to the isolation sentence.
Mr Solihu also ordered the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers who arrested the violators to liaise with the officers of the correctional centre and the Kwara State Covid-19 Technical Committee to ensure that the convicts were isolated. They were convicted for violating the state government’s restriction of movement order and the rules guiding patients at the isolation centre.
Prosecutor, Inspector Nasir Yusuf, urged the court to try the offenders summarily since they had pleaded guilty. He said that the patient they tried to escape with was an inter-state driver who came from Lagos to Ilorin.