The General Overseer of a Pentecostal church in Ovwian, Udu local government area of Delta State, alongside six of his church members have been convicted for violating the lockdown order in the state.
The clergyman in company of six others, were last Sunday arrested during a service in the church and arraigned before Ena Odjugo, the presiding magistrate.
The magistrate frowned at the actions of the cleric in the face of the lockdown order by the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The cleric however, claimed that he was only obeying instructions from God who told him to organize a three-day fasting and prayer service with twelve persons representing the twelve tribes of Judah to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic.
The magistrate who ordered the GO to read from Romans 13:1-6, told him and his six members that they violated sections 203 of the criminal code despite their alleged message from God.
They were however, granted bail with the option of community service which must be carried out within Ovwian community and its environs to sensitize other pastors to close down their church until the expiration of the lockdown.
Elsewhere in Kampala, six Chinese nationals were convicted by a Ugandan court for escaping from a hotel in the country’s capital where they had been quarantined over the deadly Coronavirus.
According to the Daily Monitor, the group last month escaped from a hotel in Kibuli and were later arrested together with their Ugandan driver and his wife in Zombo district on their way to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Chinese nationals, Mr. Huang Haiguiang, Mr. Li Chaochyan, Mr. Lin Xiaofang, Mr. Qin Shening, Mr. Liang Xinging, and Mr. Huang Wei on Tuesday, April 21 appeared before Chief Magistrate Ruth Nabaasa before they pleaded guilty of disobeying lawful orders, an act likely to spread infection of disease contrary to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act before Nakawa Chief Ruth Nabaasa.
Prosecution led by Ms. Annette Namatovu states that on the 19th day of March 2020 at Kibuli Hotel Africa in Kampala that six Chinese nationals unlawfully or negligently escaped from self-quarantined at the said hotel without completing their fourteen mandatory days against COVID-19 to Zombo district.
According to the court records, the six Chinese arrived at Entebbe international airport aboard Ethiopian Airlines on March 10, 2020, and had been subjected to 14 days of self-quarantine at Kibuli Hotel Africa but decided to defy the orders of the Ministry of Health.
The group’s Ugandan driver, Abdu Matovu, 35 and his wife, Swabu Nassuuna, 27 denied the charges.
The magistrate remanded the Chinese nationals until May 4 when they will appear for sentencing.
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