By Stanley Onyekwere
An FCT Mobile Court has ordered for the seal up of New Yorker NightClub and Lounge, located in Maitama District of Abuja, for allegedly operating within prohibited and curfew hours, in contravention of the COVID-19 regulation, 2020.
The court sitting at the Eagles Square presided over by Magistrate Idayat Akanni, which also ordered for seal up of Agape Nightclub and lounge, Wuse II, yesterday said it’s for the period of one week.
The court, also summarily tried and convicted four defaulters namely: Wassim Soofau and Fawaz Ali, who are Lebanese and operators of New Yorker NightClub; and Adeniran Matthew and Julius Inanemoh, staff of Agape Nightclub respectively .
While the two Lebanese feigned ignorance of the prohibition on operations of social activities outside working hours those of the Agabe nightclub ) pleaded not guilty to the allegations against them.
However, the Magistrate, found them guilty and sentenced them to payment of fine in the tune of N10,000 each, for conducting business and engaging in social gathering within the premises of the nightclubs, during prohibited period.
According to the judge, both sentences and seal up orders are to serve as deterrence to others in the society.
Our correspondent reports that the defaulters found guilty, were apprehended by the FCT COVID-19 enforcement team for opening up their business and engaging in social activities within the curfew hours, which is from 10pm to 6am within the FCT.
Meanwhile, Chairman of FCT Ministerial Taskforce on COVID -19, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who led his team to enforce the seal up order, said the arrests were made on Tuesday night, during a routine monitoring in the areas.
He disclosed that security personnel stormed the hotel, and discovered that activities there were in contravention of COVID-19 guidelines, thereby leading to arrests of four persons including the two Lebanese.
He added that, “when my team visited, we met many people drinking in very large numbers, no face masks, no social distancing. Opening bear parlour alone is contravention.
“So this morning, we approached the mobile Court and the Judge ruled that the place should be sealed foe one week”.
Attah, however, warned operators of nightclubs and bear parlours to always adhere strictly to Covid-19 protocols and that they are not allowed to open for now, because of the alarming increase of new Covid-19 cases,
According to him: “we can’t find our hands and pretend that we are not seeing anything.”