The popular Wuse Market in the Wuse district in Abuja has been shut down on the orders of a mobile court over violations of the presidential regulations on COVID-19.
The court also shut, in the same breath another popular shopping arcade, UTC and the Murg Shopping Plaza, while 100 persons arrested for violating the regulations were convicted for not wearing face masks in public.
It was reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently signed the new regulations titled COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021, prescribing six months jail term and fine for defaulters.
The trial magistrate, Idayat Akanni, fined the violators N2,000 each, with an option of two weeks of community service.
According to Magistrate Akanni, the convicts were given lesser penalties because they were first time offenders.
Speaking on the development, 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 also 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.
He said the market and plazas did not adhere to the guidelines and did not make provisions for health and safety requirements, adding that the court said the shut down order can be vacated when the managements of the facilities comply 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.”