An Abuja Mobile court, yesterday, shut down the popular Wuse Market, the UTC and the Murg shopping malls for violating the presidential directives on COVID-19.
The court also convicted about 100 persons who were arrested by the enforcement team for not wearing face masks in public places.
This came barely six days after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021.
The same regulations were also ratified by FCTA three days ago, with a directive by FCT Minister authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.
The court president, Magistrate Idayat Akanni, fined the violators N2,000 each, with an option of two-week community service.
She also explained that the convicts were given lenient penalties because they were first offenders.
Also speaking, the Head, Media and Enlightenment of FCTA COVID-19 Enforcement team, Ikharo Attah, said the situation at the markets was intolerable.
Attah said that the presidential regulations specifically said that management of public business facilities should take full responsibility of enforcement of the COVID-19 regulations, but these markets defaulted in all aspects.
According to him, the market and plazas disregarded the guidelines and did not make provision for the health safety requirements.
He added that the court had said the shutdown order could only be vacated when the management of the facilities comply with the regulations.
He said: “The presidential regulation 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.”