A Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and fined Promise Gogorobari, owner of demolished Prodest Hotel in Eleme, for contravening the State Executive Order on COVID-19.
The court fined Gogorobari and Bariledum Azoroh, manager of the facility, N50,000 each.
It was reported that Gogorobari was not present at the sitting, the court ordered that Azoroh be quarantined at the isolation centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, for 14 days, to ascertain his coronavirus status.
Rita Oguguo, Senior Magistrate, who delivered the judgement on Monday, ruled that the accused persons violated paragraph 3 and 4 of governor Nyesom Wike’s Executive Order number 7.
Before the ruling, Azoroh had insisted on seeing his counsel, Godwin Awi, who was absent in court due to his inability to get a pass that will grant him access in court, because of the continued lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor council areas.
Azoroh lamented that in spite of his plea to get his counsel to defend him, the court went ahead to convict him.
“With what has happened, it is clear that there are other underlying issues that probably we do not know,” he was quoted as telling journalists after the judgment.
“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.”