By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Mobile Court, on Monday, ordered the immediate closure of Wuse and UTC markets over flagrant disregard to COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations Act, 2021.
Magistrate Idayat Akanni, gave the order, after the defaulters were brought before the court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Jan. 26, signed the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, and all other powers enabling him.
The protection regulations will serve the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases
Briefing newsmen after the order was given, Mr Ikharo Attah, Head , Publicity and Enlightenment, FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task Force on COVID-19, said the FCTA has rectified the regulations and directed the security agencies and enforcement task force to ensure compliance with the regulations in the territory.
Attah explained that the enforcement of the executive order was in line with directive of the President which was heavily carried out by the FCTA taskforce.
He said that the law had empowered the taskforce to ensure total compliance with the regulations that was why the task force gone round strategic places in the city to arrest violators.
He disclosed that the task force had arrested, arraigned, prosecuted and convicted no fewer than 100 persons over violation of the executive order.
” The judge in her wisdom after seeing what transpired here at the Eagle Square, gave a strong ruling that three key areas of default, that is the Wuse, UTC market and Murg Shopping Plaza be shut down until they comply.
” That means that from midnight today, these properties and markets have to remain closed based on the verdict of her Lordship.
” That the contravention she saw was very massive and that these properties should remain sealed until compliance is actually made.”
“In all the properties sealed, there were no thermometers to check temperatures, no water for customers to wash their hands and no sanitiser.
“The task force has carried out massive advocacy across the city prior to the commencement of the enforcement of executive order in the city.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) observed that most of people prosecuted were fined N2000 each, because they were first time offenders.
Those who couldn’t afford to pay the fine were sentenced to two weeks community service.