Court orders reopening of Jabi Lake mall after closure by government over lockdown

10 days after the mall which hosted a concert by the popular hip-hop artiste, Naira Marley, a Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory has ordered the reopening of the Jabi Lake Mall.

Naira Marley had hosted a June 13 drive-in concert in the said mall which was greeted by widespread condemnation on social media after photos and videos from the concert showed the guests did not observe social distancing and other COVID-19 precautionary guidelines.

Barely 24 hours after photos and videos from the concert went viral, the mall was subsequently shut down and the airline that flew Naira Marley to Abuja was also penalized.

Magistrate Idayat Akanni while giving the order for the opening of the mall today Tuesday, June 23 said the decision to reopen the mall was a sequel to the application filed by the defence counsel, Nnamdi Ekwem, who asked the court to unseal the business premises.

She said her judgment was based on the overall interest of those, who would be affected adversely by the closure, noting that the mall had over 100 employees and other tenants, who are not co-offenders in the matter.

“The order is also based on compassion, especially, in consideration of the economic losses that will be suffered by those affected, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on the people.”

She ordered the management of the mall to publish an apology to the government in national dailies for violating the COVID-19 guidelines.

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