The FCT Mobile Court, Tuesday morning ordered the unsealing of Jabi Lake Mall, Abuja, which was locked on June 14 after the management contravened the Presidential Task Force (PTF) protocols on COVID-19 control by allowing its premises to be used for a drive in concert featuring Naira Marley.
The court ordered the management of the mall to publish an apology to the government in the national dailies for violating the COVID-19 guidelines.
The mall was shut on the order of Magistrate Idayat Akanni for the musical performance which held at the popular plaza.
The event attracted a large gathering many of who did not wear face masks or observe social distancing.
Three staff of the mall were also arraigned for organising the concert in violation of the protocols approved by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Giving the order for the opening of the mall on Monday, Akanni stated that her decision was a sequel to the application filed by the defence counsel, Nnamdi Ekwem, praying the court to unseal the business premises.
She said that her judgment was based on the overall interest of those who would be affected adversely by the closure, noting that the mall had over 100 employees and other tenants who are not co-offenders in the matter.
According to her, “The order is also based on compassion, especially, in consideration of the economic losses that will be suffered by those affected, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on the people.”
Commenting on the development, the Chairman of FCT Ministerial TaskForce on COVID -19, Ikharo Attah said the FCTA had no objections to the rulings of the court “because the administration wants to remain a model in obeying the rule of law.”