From Betty Idialu: A Warri-based legal practitioner,, Mr Clem Ade Omotoye has faulted the ongoing total lockdown across Delta State describing it as an executive error of judgement.
The lawyer opined that a positive Coronavirus case for which the state is in a total shutdown has yet to be recorded in the state when the decision was taken.
Omotoye said Governor Okowa should have stuck only to the initial closure of air and land borders and allow free movement of residents within the state rather than the current restriction of movements.
Barrister Omotoye, who is of the Robinson Ariyo & Co. Law Chambers in Warri, queried the rationale behind the lockdown, wondering what would happen if after the 14-day lockdown was over, a positive case was recorded in the state.
Why wondering what parameters the state government would use to measure the success or failure of the pandemic after the lockdown is over,Omotoye said,
“Talking about the lockdown in the state, actually the state governor made the pronouncement and everybody is expected to obey.
“Let me just add here that I’m not in agreement with the restriction of movement within the state.
“The reason being that if what NCDC has told us is anything to go by, the virus COVID19 is yet to find its way into the state.
“So, all that we needed to do was to stop or do everything humanly possible to prevent the carrier of this virus into the state.
“As far I am concerned, I have been asking myself some questions: what is going to be the parameter for judging at the end of the day whether this lockdown is going to be successful or otherwise?
“The essence of the lockdown within the state is to curb the spread of the virus. The virus is yet to be in the state so there was no need for it.
“After the two weeks the ban of restriction will be lifted; supposing the virus now found its way into the state, what becomes of us?
“It will mean that there would be another lockdown in trying to curb the spread of the virus. But now that the virus is not in the state, then there’s no need for it.
“That is my opinion, because there’s no basis to judge whether this lockdown will be successful or not.”.
Reacting to the cases of killing Joseph Pessu who was killed by a soldier yesterday as well as brutality recorded against the army and other security agents, he said it was unnecessary and unprofessional.
“There’s a lockdown, but the governor also provided exceptions. There are so many exceptions; so, if you see anyone walking or driving on the street, it could be on any of those exceptions.
“For example, they said fuel outlets, pharmaceutical shops, food outlets, banks should open; it simply means that people will go to those places.
“So, if you see anybody walking on the street or driving on the streets during the lockdown, all you need to do is to professionally question him or her: “Where are you going?” Let him/her explain.
“But if he/she refuses to explain, you have the right to hold the person there for quite some time. But the fact remains that people must certainly walk around,” he noted.