Nigeria: FCT Mobile Court Seals Nightclubs in Abuja

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) mobile court, which sat at Eagle Square, yesterday, ordered that New Yorker Night Club and Lounge, Maitama, and Agape Nightclub and Lounge, Wuse II, Abuja, be sealed up.

Magistrate Idayat Akanni, who presided over the court ruled that the two businesses operated within prohibited and curfew hours, in contravention of the COVID-19 Regulation, 2020. She ordered that the two clubs be sealed up for one week.

The court also tried and convicted operators of the clubs; Wassim Soofau and Fawaz Ali, Lebanese who run the New Yorker and Adeniran Matthew and Julius Inanemoh, staff of Agape Nightclub, respectively.

The two Lebanese feigned ignorance of the prohibition on operation of social activities outside working hours while those of Agabe nightclub pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Akanni, however, fined them N10,000 each, for conducting business and engaging in social gathering within the premises of the nightclubs, during prohibited period.

The magistrate said both the fine and seal up orders were to serve as deterrent to others in the society.

City News learnt that the convicts were arrested by the FCT COVID-19 enforcement team for opening their businesses and engaging in social activities within the curfew hours, which is from 10pm to 6am.

Chairman of FCT Ministerial Taskforce on COVID -19, Ikharo Attah, who led his team to enforce the seal up order, said the arrests were made on Tuesday night, during a routine monitoring.

"When my team visited, we met many people drinking, no face masks, no social distancing. Opening beer parlour alone is a contravention. So this morning, we approached the mobile court and it ruled that the places should be sealed for one week," he added.

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