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Lagos gets tough on emergency line abuse

18 February 2014, 10:33

Lagos -  Lagos residents who misuse emergency telephone lines risk spending three years in prison.

This follows the enactment of a new law aimed at curbing the misuse of such lines.

The law, which Governor Babatunde Fashola has formally signed, stipulates a three-year jail term for any caller who makes fake calls to the state's 767 and 112 emergency telephone lines.

The new law also stipulates a jail term with an option of fine for anyone that knowingly gives false information to operators of the emergency lines.

Besides being prosecuted, the offender would also be made to pay for the expenses incurred by the emergency centre while responding to the false call.

Operators of the emergency call centres are mandated by the law to request and obtain the identity of the false caller from the telecoms companies.

Lagos Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, said these incidents of emergency telephone misuse were sufficient reasons for regulatory control of the emergency lines.

He stated that fake callers had made the system costlier and blocked the chance of genuine callers who were in need of urgent assistance from the emergency services and put them at avoidable risk.

“To prevent these malpractices, there is need for the state to provide a regulatory control over calls made to the emergency telephone numbers. It is in the light of this that the Lagos State Emergency Command and Control Centre was made,” he said.

“The law generally outlines the process for the exercise of the emergency response by the centre through speedily processing emergency calls received and taking urgent steps to respond to them by informing other safety and emergency service providers within and outside the State as may be required to provide an effective response to emergency situations.”

Emergency calls, which are free of charge, allows callers to contact local emergency services for assistance.

– CAJ News

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