The FCT Mobile Court has convicted 24 persons and sealed off three beer parlours for violating COVID-19 regulations 2020.
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 ₦2,000 fine each to the 24 defaulters that pleaded guilty with an option of a one-day community service in any of the government facilities.
Other three alleged violators who pleaded not guilty are to appear before Magistrate court Wuse zone II on Friday, Aug. 21.
The prosecutor, Udeme Umanah, who read the charges before the COVID-19 regulation defaulters arrested at Pana village in Utako district, said the offences bordered on violation of the dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Umanah also said that the offences were violation of ban on social gatherings and the violation of compulsory wearing of face masks when appearing in public.
“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,” he said.
Commenting on the judgment, the Police Command Spokesperson for FCT, Anjuguri Manza, said 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,” he said.
Manza advised those who operated beer parlours and restaurants to adhere to the guidelines.
Also fielding questions from newsmen, the chairman FCT Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19, Ikharo Attah, advised FCT residents to comply with the safety guidelines.
“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,” he said.
He listed the places sealed off for four days as Chioma restaurant, Madam Okosu and Mrs Hashimu restaurants.