A mobile court, sitting in Jabi district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), presided over by Justice Idayat Akanni, has given an order for the immediate re-opening of Jabi Lake Mall, which was shut down 10 days ago.
The court also ordered management of the mall to publish an unreserved apology to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) , in national newspapers, for hosting a concert, which was attended by a Lagos-based controversial artist, Naira Marley.
Recall that the mall was shut down last week by an order of the same court for organizing ‘Drive-in-Concert’ that attracted crowd within the premises, against the social distancing rules and the extant 8pm-6am curfew, which violated the COVID-19 health safety guidelines and other protocols as approved by the Presidential Task Force.
Delivering judgment on the case in Abuja, yesterday Justice Akanni explained that the ruling was based on the overall interest of those who would be adversely affected if the mall remained closed, adding that the mall presently has over 100 employees and other tenants, who are not co-offenders in the matter, but may have their fundamental human rights seriously infracted.
She added that the order was also based on compassionate ground, especially in consideration of the economic losses that would be suffered by those affected, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on the people.
Chairman of FCT Ministerial Task Team on COVID -19, Ikharo Attah, who spoke to newsmen after the court judgment, stated that the administration has no objections to the court ruling, because it believes in the rule of law.
Attah noted that FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has demonstrated a strong will to respect the laws, while striving for good governance, even as he maintained that nobody can violate the laws and go unpunished in the FCT.
He also added that the management of the mal is expected to comply with the order of the court by publishing an apology to administration on national newspapers, as soon as possible