Human rights lawyer, Mahmud Abdul, has said he would challenge the constitutionality of the mobile courts created by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to punish violators of the lockdown order put in place in the city to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
According to him, the procedure adopted by the mobile court being 'summary procedure', negated the doctrine of fair hearing as stipulated by section 36 (1) of the 1999 constitution.
He vowed to challenge all decisions made by the mobile courts at the high court after the lockdown.
He said, “Whatever punishment or sentence given by the mobile court, just endure and hope that when the lockdown is lifted, we will approach a high court to challenge some of these decisions.”
Director of the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Wadata Aliyu Bodinga, while assessing the operations of the mobile courts, said compliance level had improved.
He said a total of 50 cases were prosecuted on the first day out of which 40 were convicted while 10 were discharged.
Aliyu said some of the convicts were fined various sums while others had their vehicles impounded and sentenced to community service.
He said the objective of setting up the courts had been largely achieved as fewer people were now seen on the streets.
He said, "The idea of prosecuting violators was not aimed at punishing anyone but to discourage people from leaving their homes against medical advice to curtail the spread of COVID-19.”
The mobile courts in Abuja had prosecuted 156 violators of the order since its inauguration.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have criticised government and the mobile courts for refusing to take action against persons, who violated the order to attend the burial of Chief of Staff to Buhari, Abba Kyari, at Gudu Cemetery, Abuja, on Saturday.