Court convicts 24, shuts 3 beer parlours for violating COVID protocols in FCT

*Offences bordered on violation of dusk-to-dawn curfew, Magistrate awards N2,000 fine each to 24 defaulters with an option of one-day community service

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For failure to observe the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) extant protocols, the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Mobile Court has convicted 24 persons and shut down three beer parlours in Abuja.

The regulations were made by Presidential Order, pursuant to Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. 02, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Idayat Akanni, the trial Magistrate, awarded N2,000 fine each to the 24 defaulters that pleaded guilty with an option of a one-day community service in any of the government facilities, says agency report.

Three other alleged violators, who pleaded not guilty, are to appear before Magistrate Court Wuse Zone II Friday, August 21, 2020.

Other places sealed off for four days include Chioma Restaurant, Madam Okosu and Mrs. Hashimu Restaurants.

Udeme Umanah, the prosecutor, who read the charges before the COVID-19 regulation defaulters were arrested in Pana Village, in Utako District of the FCT, said the offences bordered on violation of the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

According to the prosecutor, the offences were violation of ban on physical or social gatherings and the violation of compulsory wearing of nose masks when appearing in public.

Umanah stated: “The court tried them and convicted them, except for three who denied liability.

“Those that pleaded guilty are to pay a fine of 2,000 or go for one-day community service, also three beer parlours have been sealed off for four days.”

Anjuguri Manza, Spokesperson for FCT Police Command, said that the police stance on COVID-19 regulations was still in place.

“We want to remind FCT residents that the COVID-19 regulations are very much in place.

“People should know that the curfew that starts from 10p.m. to 4.a.m daily is also in place,” Manza urged residents.

The Police Spokesman urged those who operated beer parlours and restaurants to adhere to the guidelines.

 

Ikharo Attah, Chairman of FCT Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19, also advised FCT residents to comply with the safety guidelines.

Attah said: “Most of the people are thinking that the issue of COVID-19 is over, but it’s not; the fight against the pandemic is still on, so we must strictly adhere to the rules.

“We in the FCT are law abiding because the guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19 have not been lifted; people must understand that the protocols are in place.

“Restaurants, beer parlours and drinking joints are not allowed to operate.

“It is because of these violations that the defaulters in Pana village have been arrested.”

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