COVID-19: Abuja court convicts 100 violators, seals 3 Abuja markets
By Ben Adoga
After stern warning by the FCT minister last week, enforcement officers in the territory have swung into action with several arrests already made.
Following the arrests, an Abuja mobile court, Monday, sealed the popular Wuse Market, the UTC and the Murg Shopping Plaza for violating the presidential regulations on COVID-19.
The court also convicted about 100 persons who were arrested by the enforcement team for not wearing facemasks in public places.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulation Law, 2021 about six days ago.
The FCT Administration ratified and domesticated the law only three days ago with a directive by FCT minister authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.
The court, presided by Magistrate Idayat Akanni, fined the violators N2,000 each, with an option of two weeks community service.
She also explained that the convicts were given mild penalties, because they were first offenders.
Also speaking, the head, media and enlightenment of FCTA COVID-19 Enforcement team, Ihkaro Attah, said the situation at the shutdown markets were such that no responsible government would pretend not to see.
Attah noted that the presidential regulations specifically said that management of public business facilities, should take full responsibility for enforcing the COVID-19 regulations, but these markets defaulted in all aspects.
According to him, the markets 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 complied with the regulations.