COURT SHUTS DOWN WUSE MARKET OVER COVID-19 SCARE

Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

An Abuja Mobile Court on Monday shut down the popular Wuse market, the UTC and the Murg Shopping Plazas for violating the presidential regulations on COVID-19.

Same court also convicted about 100 persons, who were arrested by the enforcement team for not wearing facemasks in public places.

This came barely six days after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021.

The same regulations were also rectified by FCTA three days ago, with a directive by FCT Minister authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.

The trial magistrate, Idayat Akanni, fined the violators N2,000 each, with an option of two weeks of community service.

She also explained that the convicts were given lesser penalties because they were first offenders.

The Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCTA COVID-19 Enforcement Team, Ihkaro Attah, said the situation at the markets shut was such that no responsible government would pretend not to see it.

Attah noted that the presidential regulations specifically said the 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 has said the shutdown order can only be vacated when the management of the facilities complies with the regulations.

Attah said: “The Presidential Regulations 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

Meanwhile, the arrest and prosecution of Abuja residents, who violated the protocols by not wearing masks, have sent signals to other people in the nation’s capital to always comply.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Malam Muhammad Bello last Friday stated that there was no enforcement against the pandemic at the rural level.

Bello called on Area Council chairmen, traditional rulers and security operative during an urgent meeting to ensure that they adhere to the recently enacted law by President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the COVID-19