Abuja Court Shuts Down Wuse Market, Others Over COVID-19 Protocols Violation
An Abuja Mobile court has on Monday ordered the shut down of popular Wuse Market, UTC and Murg shopping malls for violating the presidential directives on COVID-19.
About 100 persons who were arrested by the enforcement team for not wearing face masks in public places were convicted also by the court.
The court president, Magistrate Idayat Akanni, fined the violators N2,000 each, with an option of two-week community service.
The development is in accordance with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The law, signed on January 26, stipulates that anyone caught violating the COVID19 protocols should be arrested and stands the risk of paying a fine or going to jail for six months or both.
The same regulations were also ratified by FCTA three days ago, with a directive by FCT Minister authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.
Magistrate Akanni explained that the convicts were given lenient penalties because they were first offenders.
Also speaking, the Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCTA COVID-19 Enforcement team, Ikharo Attah, said the situation at the markets was intolerable.
Attah expressed that the presidential regulations specifically said that management of public business facilities should take full responsibility of enforcement of the COVID-19 regulations, but these markets defaulted in all aspects.
According to him, the market and plazas disregarded the guidelines and did not make provision for the health safety requirements.
He added that the court had said the shutdown order could only be vacated when the management of the facilities comply with the regulations.
The presidential regulation has given our enforcement team the teeth to bite and the FCT Minister has also given his backing for the full implementation of the presidential regulations.