Many countries around the world, including Nigeria, have introduced lockdown measures for their citizens. Lockdown is considered to be one of the most effective ways to slow down or even completely stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, some Nigerians are ignoring the lockdown orders, and here is what can happen if you decide to defy the lockdown requirements.
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Perhaps, the most common penalty for defying the lockdown rules in Nigeria is a fine. If you are found to break the lockdown orders, you will be fined by the authorities. The amount of the fine is decided individually in each case, but in most cases, it is between ₦1,000 and ₦5,000.
However, the amount of the fine is not final and can depend on several factors. For example, after the Nollywood icon, Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband were found to hold a house party at their home with multiple guests, the couple were fined ₦100,000. It is very likely that their high profile and large online following were taken into account when deciding the amount of the fine.
2. Community service
In some cases, the court decides that the most appropriate penalty for defying the lockdown rules is to spend some time doing good things to the community, otherwise known as community service. The community service is usually around two weeks long and can include a number of things.
Given that Nigerian citizens are ordered to stay at home, it is possible that even if you are ordered to complete community service, the execution of the sentence will be delayed until the lockdown is over. It is also very likely that the verdict for lockdown will include more than one penalty and will combine community service with a fine. That is exactly what happened to Funke Akindele and her husband, who were ordered to complete two weeks of community service in addition to their ₦100,000 fine.
3. Forced quarantine
If the court decides that your lockdown defying behaviour is a danger to the society and you risk infecting other people and your family members, you may be put on forced quarantine in a place that isn’t your home. The location of forced isolation is decided in each case individually, but you shouldn’t expect anything more than minimal conveniences and very modest food.
After all, the quarantine is not a vacation, and given that you will spend at least 14 days without seeing your loved ones, going outside, buying your own groceries, or communicating with other people, forced isolation is one of the most frustrating penalties for defying the lockdown orders.
Unfortunately, that is not the worst-case scenario for individuals breaking the coronavirus lockdown rules. As of today, 18 people in Nigeria were killed by the Nigerian security forces for defying lockdown orders, which is more than the number of coronavirus victims so far. That is the one consequence of lockdown breaking you will not live down, which is already a good reason to follow the lockdown orders.
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