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FCT Mobile Court convicts Naira Marley for violating COVID-19 protocols

... Convict to pay N200,000 fine, tender apology to FG

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mobile Court Friday convicted the popular Lagos based artiste, Naira Marley (Azeez Fashola) for violating COVID-19 Regulation, 2020 made by Presidential Order pursuant to Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. 02, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The trial Magistrate, Idayat Akanni awarded N200,000 fine to Marley and directed him to tender an apology to the Federal Government which must be published in a national daily newspaper after he pleaded guilty to the four count charges.

Akanni said the charges are that, Azeez Fashola on Saturday, June 13, 2020 during the hours of the day flew from Lagos State by Executive Jet Airline into Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory contrary to the Presidential Order banning interstate travelling and you thereby committed an offence.

“That you Azeez Fashola on Saturday, June 13, 2020 during the hours of the day was found in public at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and at Jabi Lake Mall without wearing a face mask contrary to the Presidential Order imposing compulsory wearing of face mask by all persons within Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and you thereby committed an offence.

“That you Azeez Fashola on Saturday, June 13, 2020 during the hours of the evening was found outside your residence and in public at Jabi Lake Mall engaged in an event which attracted social congregation of persons and fans contrary to the Presidential Order banning au forms of social gathering in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and you thereby committed an offence.

“That you Azeez Fashola on Saturday, June 13, 2020 during the hours of the night was found outside your residence in public at Jabi Lake Mall, within Abuja the Federal Capital Territory contrary to the Presidential Order imposing dusk to dawn curfew on the territory of Abuja,
Federal Capital Territory and you thereby committed an offence”, she stated.

Addressing journalists after the judgment, the defense Counsel, Mohammad Yunusa said, going forward his team would be very detail and always confirm information given to their client by the people who book him.

“Like in this instance, we were given the assurance that all the approvals from the government has been procured for him to be in Abuja and at the concert. It was on the strength of the representations that he came to Abuja to perform.”

He assured that having gone through the trial, Marley will henceforth be more focal in the advocacy for the adherence to the COVID-19 safety guidelines by all.

The Prosecuting Counsel, Udeme Umanah, explained that the offences have a minimum fine of N2,000 and then the Court has its own jurisdiction to impose a N50,000 fine per count since he (Naira Marley) have admitted liability and would pay a total sum of N200,000.

Reacting, the Chairman of FCT Ministerial Taskteam on COVID-19, Attah Ikharo, admonished Nigerians to obey the safety measures against the killer virus stressing that anyone caught breaking the laws within the nation’s capital would face full wrath of the law.

“I think for those of us in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and those of us in the COVID-19 team, this has been a very long struggling matter. The artist himself today pleaded guilty that he broke the law and the Judge in her mercy was kind to give him N50,000 per each of the four count charge.

“We are telling people that they should learn to obey the law and do what is right. Regardless of what you think you are, you are subject to law and even if you run far and think time has overtaken the process of justice, that is not true. You can see that after like two months now, he has been brought to face the law. We thank the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police for actually picking him up and flying him into Abuja for this prosecution”, Ikharo added.

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