PRISON CELLBy Uthman Siraja

A  Minna chief Magistrate Court No1 has ordered the remand of 26 persons in the Minna Correctional Centre for contravening the Covid-19 Order, operating a brothel, drinking parlour and failing to comply with the restriction requirement imposed under the Covid-19 Order.

According to a Police First Information Report (FIR) made available in court and obtained by Newsline, said that some suspected criminal elements were operating at a Hollywood Hotel, consequently, Police detectives attached to Rapid Response Unit,  Department of  Operations, led by one ASP Sabo Makama while on patrol along Tunga, got the tip-off and immediately swung into action and stormed the Hollywood Hotel and effected the arrest of one Abdulra’uf Adejare, director of the Hollywood Hotel, Adebayi Segun the Barman and 24 others who are  commercial sex workers operating at the said hotel which also serves as a brothel.

“During Police investigation; when all of you were questioned, you could not give a reasonable and satisfactory account of yourselves, further Police investigation revealed that you all were not using any protective face masks and were not observing the social distancing order of the Niger State Government. You all are thereby suspected to have committed the above offences.”

The Police prosecutor, Ahmed Sa’idu ASP told the court that the offences contravened Covid-19 Order which is punishable under sections 201, 403, 306 of the penal code and section (1), (A) (2), of the Niger State Covid-19 (Prevention, Containment and Emergency) Order 2020.

When the charges were read to them by the presiding Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Hauwa Baba Yusuf, they all pleaded not guilty and the Police prosecutor told the court that the facts of the matter is contained in the  First Information Report “while the police investigation is yet to complete, I object to their bail  at this early stage. I urged the court to remand them in Correctional Custody to enable us complete our investigation.”

At this point, Barrister Jerry Ekeh leading seven other counsels made an oral application for their bail.

While remanding them at the Correctional Custody, the chief Magistrate, Hajiya Hauwa Yusuf requested the counsels to formally apply for their bail and adjourned the case to January, 20th for the application to be heard.