Convicts 100 persons over facemasks’ violation
By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) mobile court has ordered the shutting down of the popular Wuse market for breaching the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulation, signed into law seven days ago by President Muhammadu Buhari, and ratified last Friday by the FCT Administration.
The court order also affected UTC and the Murg Shopping Plazas both in Area 10, Garki, Abuja.
The presiding Magistrate, Idayat Akanni, also convicted 100 persons, who were arrested by the enforcement team for walking in public places without using their facemasks.
She handed the violators a fine of N2, 000 each with an option of carrying out a two-week community service.
The magistrate said the convicts were handed lesser penalties as they were deemed as first offenders.
The Head of Media and Enlightenment of FCTA COVID-19 Enforcement Team, Ihkaro Attah, said the Wuse market and the two shopping malls violated some of the provisions of the presidential regulations that required them to make provision for the health safety requirements.
Attah said the breaches were so flagrant that no responsible government would tolerate them.
According to him, “The presidential regulations have 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.”
He also added that the court pronounced that the shutdown order can only be vacated when the management of the facilities complies with the regulations.
The COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 were ratified by FCTA with the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.