COVID-19: FCTA set to demolish 2 nightclubs, prosecute offenders

By Ukpono Ukpong

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed plans to demolish two nightclubs, Cool Leo and Paris Nightclubs located in Karu Site for violating the COVID-19 guidelines.

According to Head, Public Enlightenment, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Taskforce on Enforcement of COVOD-19 Guidelines, Comrade Ikharo Attah, the two nightclubs did not only violate the COVID-19 guidelines but also guilty of arbitrary change of land use from residential to mixed-use of commercial and hospitality purposes.

He disclosed that the two nightclubs were over the weekend sealed off for violating the COVID-19 guidelines.

This comes barely two years after the popular Caramelo nightclub was completely demolished in Utako for a similar offense.

Ikharo vowed that FCTA authorities would stop at nothing to ensure the demolition of the two popular night clubs unless they reverted to approved residential land use for the area.

“Two clubs in Karu Site, very offensive clubs, have been asked to close. They operate in a residential area, against COVID-19 protocols, and disrupt the peace of residents at night.

“They are Paris Club and Cool Lea and they have been sealed off indefinitely.
“If they revert to the original land use, should they refuse to revert, then we invoke other aspects of FCT master plan and demolish. We will not allow them to continue disturbing the neighborhood.”

In a related development, the no fewer than 29 persons arrested across the FCT for breaking COVID-19 guidelines were also tried before the FCT Mobile Court sitting at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Commenting on the prosecution of the COVID-19 offenders, Ikharo said “29 persons were apprehended, brought before the court and subsequently the judge found them guilty and they were given the option of fine, which they all paid the fines.

“We want residents to know that the fundamental thing to do is to obey health protocols, conform with it going forward, and ensure that they live peacefully and happily.

“So all we are doing is to vigorously continue with FCT COVID-19 contravention enforcement directive given by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, our Chairman that we go out and sustain COVID-19 health protocols in the FCT.”

Ikharo however scored his committee high: “But in all, the compliance in Abuja is very high, compared to other places in the country. You will score us very high.”

Presiding over the proceedings at the FCT Mobile court, Magistrate Idayat Akani of the FCT Judiciary found the defendants guilty on a one-count charge of violating the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulation, 2021 by not using facemasks in public places.

According to her, the offense was liable to either imprisonment, payment of a fine or community service, or both.

While 27 of the accused pleaded guilty after the charge was read to them, paid the fine of N2,000.00 each, and were released, two who pleaded not guilty were granted bail in the sum of N10,000 each.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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