By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: A Federal Capital Territory FCT Magistrate Court has re-opened the Jabi Lake Mall, 10 days after it ordered that it be sealed for hosting a Naira Marley concert in contravention of Covid-19 Protocols.
The court, sitting in Jabi, also ordered the management of the Mall to publish an unreserved apology to government in a national daily.
Magistrate Idayat Akanni had shut down the Mall after convicting some persons for organizing the ‘Drive-in-Concert’ in breach of social distancing measures and the 10pm to 4am curfew.
The magistrate who ordered that the Mall 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.
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She said her judgement was based on the overall interest of those who will be affected adversely should the Mall remain closed as it has over 100 employees and other tenants who were not co-offenders in the matter, and may have their fundamental human rights seriously breached.
Magistrate Akonni added that the order is also based on compassion, especially considering the economic losses that will be suffered by those affected, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on the people.
In his response, Chairman, FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task-team on COVID -19 Restrictions, Ikharo Attah said FCT Administration has no objections to the ruling of the court as it has a duty to obey the rule of law at all times.
Attah said, “in the wisdom of the court, it has decided to re-open the Mall after 10 days, and also asking the Management to publish an apology to government on national dailies. We expect it as quick as possible.
“We have shown the world that government works here; we have also shown that the rule of law is respected here. We abide by the order since the court’s judgment is based on compassion and the economic losses already recorded”, he added.