131 people arrested for failing to wear face masks

The Central Regional Police Command has arrested 131 persons for failing to wear face masks.

Speaking at the launch of a disinfection exercise by Zoomlion in basic and senior high schools on Friday, June 19, 2020, the Central Regional Police Commander, COP Paul Manly Awini said the arrested persons will be processed for court, while officers engage stakeholders to ensure all directives are adhered to.

“We are very much aware that our role is a humanitarian one in support of the lead agency which is the Ghana Health Service. And so from day one when these protocols were issued by his Excellency, I must say that some people have fallen foul of the law as far as observing some of these protocols were concerned.

Today, we have arrested 131 persons who breached these protocols, and they are all being processed for court”, he said.

New Executive Instrument (E.I. 164)

A new Executive Instrument (E.I. 164) signed by President Akufo-Addo on June 15, 2020, as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease provides that people who fail to wear face masks in public would be committing an offence that carries a prison sentence of four to 10 years or a fine of GH¢12,000 to GH¢60,000, or both.

The new E.I. makes it mandatory for people to “wear face masks, face shields or any other face covering that covers his or her nose and mouth completely when the person is in public or leaving or returning to his place of abode.”

Paragraph 4 (1) of the E.I. 164 states that the police have the authority to make random checks to “ensure enforcement compliance.” According to paragraph 4(2) of E.I. 164, any person who fails to comply with the mandatory wearing of face 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 offence 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.”


Kwame Sektor

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