Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Magistrate on Monday unsealed the Jabi Lake Mall after 10 days, ordering the facility’s management to publish an unreserved apology to the government through national dailies.
The mall was sealed after a popular musician, Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, entertained fun-seekers in the area.
The concert was in violation of Presidential Task Force’s ban on public gatherings as measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Magistrate Idayat Akanni, who ordered that the mall should be immediately be re-opened, stated that she had perused the application filed by the defence counsel, Mr. Nnamdi Ekwem, praying the court to unseal the business premises.
Magistrate Akanni noted that her judgment was based on the overall interest of those, who would be affected adversely, should the mall remain closed.
She also stated that the mall has over 100 employees and other tenants, who are not co-offenders in the matter, and may have their fundamental human rights seriously infracted.
Chairman of FCT Ministerial Task Force on COVID -19 Ikharo Attah said FCTA has no objections to the rulings of the court because the administration wants to remain a model in obeying the rule of law.
A highly placed source in government, who spoke to The Nation, said Naira Marley will still be arrested and prosecuted according to the COVID-19 protocols, no matter where he is.