At a first court appearance on Friday, July 10, 2020, only one out of the 57 accused persons, who had been admitted to bail, appeared before the court.
The processing of the people comes after the president sets a new EI making it mandatory for all to wear protective gear like nose mask, face shields amongst others.
According to paragraph 4(2) of E.I. 164, any person who fails to comply with the mandatory wearing of nose masks shall be punished in accordance with Section 6 of Act 1012.
Per Section 6 of Act 1012, “a person who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection 1 of Section 2 commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty units (GH¢12,000) and not more than 5,000 penalty units (GH¢60,000) or to a term of imprisonment not less than four years and not more than 10 years or to both.”
Trial judge, Mr. Kwaku Ansah, warned that he would order the police for their arrest should they fail to appear before him at the next adjourned date.
He, consequently, adjourned sitting to July 17, 2020. The plea of Jessica Osei, the only accused person who made it in court was not taken by the judge.
Reasons for their absence in the court were not immediately known.
The 57 persons were arrested by the Municipal Police Command at Asante/Mampong in the Ashanti Region earlier this week, for flouting COVID-19 rules.
Superintendent Stephen Boadu, Municipal Police Commander in a statement stated that any persons who flout the rules will not go unpunished.
“We mounted a search at the Mampong Township and we picked 38 people; 26 males and 12 females. Yesterday, we continued the same operation and we picked up 19 people; five females and 14 males,” he had told Dailymailgh.com in a telephone interview.
He urged residents to adhere to the safety protocols to prevent further spread of the virus.