A Magistrates Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has convicted and fined the owner and Manager of the demolished Prodest Hotel, in Eleme, Gogorobari Needam, and Bariledum Azoroh, N50,000, for contravening the State’s Executive Order on Covid-19.
Although Needam was not present in court, the court ordered that Azoroh should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, for 14 days, to ascertain his coronavirus status.
Senior Magistrate, Rita Oguguo, who delivered the judgement, said that the accused violated Governor Nyesom Wike’s Executive Order on the closure of Hotels in the State, noting that, the accused violated paragraph 3 and 4 of the Executive Order number 7.
Before his sentence, Azoroh had insisted on seeing his Counsel, Godwin Awi, who was absent in court, due to his inability to get a pass to allow him access the court, due to the continued lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor Council Areas.
He lamented that in spite of the plea by his Client to get his Counsel to defend him, the court went ahead to convict him, saying: “With what has happened, it is clear that there are other underlying issues that probably we do not know.
“I do not agree with everything that has transpired today, in line with the fact that the Constitution is clear as to the issue of right to Counsel, adequate time and facility for an accused person standing trial to defend himself.”