The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) mobile court has ordered the reopening of Wuse, UTC markets and Murg Shopping Plaza shut down on Monday in Abuja for violating COVID-19 safety protocol.
The court also slammed the fine of N50, 000 each on the three facilities, for over flagrant disregard to COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations Act 2021, which must be paid before the reopening.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCT Ministerial Taskforce on Enforcement COVID-19 Protocols, announced this at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
Attah, who said that the facilities were unsealed following the court order on Wednesday, warned that any further violation would lead to complete shutdown of the markets.
”Almost two day after the closure of the Wuse, UTC markets and Murg Shopping Plaza, the presiding judge, Magistrate Idayat Akani, having observed what was reported back by the team that inspected the two affected markets.
” And also the undertaken written by the leadership of the three business centres assuring that they will comply with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 guidelines on COVID-19, the judge in her wisdom ordered the unsealed of the markets and fine each of them N50,0000 which they hurriedly paid.
Attah said that the measure was expected to serve as a deterrent to other market operators, managers, associations and even bars.
He explained that from what the taskforce saw during inspections of the affected markets, they were largely prepared to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
He, however, emphasised the need for all markets and public places to sustain the level of compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols in obedience to the presidential executive order.
“If the markets fail to abide by the COVID-19 protocols again, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and the Commissioner of Police directed that the business facilities should be completely shutdown,” he said.
Responding, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Managing Director, Murg Properties Lld., Managers of Murg Shopping Plaza, assured that the facility would comply with the safety protocol.
He said that taskforce had been activated to ensure total compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the plaza and the markets.