A Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on Tuesday, April 21, arraigned two pastors; Pastor Daramola Abiodun and Sunday Akinwade for allegedly conducting a religious gathering of more than 30 persons on Sunday, contrary to the stay-at-home order by the state government.
The state prosecutor, Mr. Femi Onipede, told the court that the two pastors committed the offence on April 19 at about 10:00a.m. at Source of Salvation Ministries, Omisanjana in Ado-Ekiti in Ado-Ekiti Magisterial District without lawful excuse.
Onipede said that the pastors were arraigned on a two-count charge of conducting a religious gathering of more than 30 person and violating a lawful order contrary to and punishable under Section 203 of the Criminal Code Law., Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
He told the court that the clergymen were arrested during the monitoring by the security operatives to ensure that churches did not conduct service as directed by the state government to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The prosecutor said they violated the provisions of Regulation 2(1) (b) punishable under Regulation 12 of the Ekiti State Coronavirus (prevention of infection) Regulation, 2020, made pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2, LFN, 2004. The pastors, however, pleaded guilty to the charges, thereby not wasting the time of the court.
The magistrate, Mr. Lanre Owoleso, consequently convicted the two pastors and ordered them to pay the fine of N50,000 each and be engaged in one hour community service on the two count charges.