In response to the growing legal needs of citizens arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the executive members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yola branch on Wednesday, 28th of april, 2020, visited six checkpoints within Jimeta in Yola, Adamawa State, to monitor the compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015.
The report by the Chair, NBA Yola Branch, Aji B. kamale reads:
”The NBA monitoring visit to the checkpoints was to ensure that suspected defaulters of the lock down order are given their right to counsel. The mobile court Magistrate, Daniel John convicted more than 30 defendants including one Professor Boyi Emmanuel with the Modibbo Adama University, Yola.
”Prof. Emmanuel was sentenced to community service as he pleaded that for the past 3 months, he has not received his salaries.
”In another judgment, the magistrate in convicted three trailer drivers who came in from Kogi State to 6 months in custodial centre or options of 50,000 naira payable into the account of the state government.
”From our observations, the Nigerian police have, to some extent tried to be civil in handling the defaulters.
”NBA human right monitoring component on covid-19 in Yola Adamawa state visited 6 police stations. The plea of the defendants were taken in our presence before the summary trial by magistrate
We are calling on the government to appoint more magistrates to cover Numan and Girei roads. Already the Chairman of internal revenue Alh Njabari Hamma Adama has been monitoring the compliance with payment of the fines imposed by the Court on defaulters.
”The NBA is also calling on government to designate a health worker to each court as we noticed a great inflow of defaulters from the neighboring states.
”The NBA also noticed some trailers are packed along Numan road waiting for the court to close so that they can drive into town at night.
”Citizens must note that Adamawa State Government did not intend to cause hardships for residents through the instrumentality of the law by embarking on payment of fines.
”The best practice for the citizens is to give cogent reasons for their movements. We are calling on government to further relax its regulations by designating at least one day to enable citizens buy their essential needs.” The Chairman implored in the statement.