BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE
The FCT Mobile Court sitting in Abuja on Friday sentenced the music icon, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, for violating Covid-19 regulation, 2020, made by Presidential Order pursuant to Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. 02, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Naira Marley pleaded guilty to the four-count charge pressed on him by the prosecuting team.
Reading the four-count charge, Magistrate Idayat Akanni ordered Naira Marley to pay N50, 000 for each of the counts as well as publish a public apology to the federal government in a national daily.
On June 13, Naira Marley and his crew flew from Lagos to Abuja to perform at a concert organised at Jabi Lake Mall.
Reacting to the judgement, the defender’s lawyer, Mohammad Yunusa, said moving forward, “We will be very detailed and also confirm information given to our clients by people who book him. Like in this instance, we were given the assurance that all the approvals from the government has been procured for him to be in Abuja and at the concert. It was on the strength of the representation that he came to Abuja to perform.”
He said further that having gone through the trial, Naira Marley will henceforth focus more on the advocacy for the adherence to the Covid-19 safety guidelines by all.
The prosecutor, chief state council for the government, Udeme Umanah, explained that the offenses has a minimum fine of N2, 000 and then the court has its own jurisdiction to impose a N50, 000 fine per count since he (Naira Marley) had admitted liability.
On his part, the chairman, FCT Ministerial Task Team on Covid-19, Attah Ikharo, said, “I think for those of us in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and those of us in the Covid-19 team, this has been a very long struggling matter. The artist himself today pleaded guilty that he broke the law and the Judge in her mercy was kind to give him N50, 000 per each of the four count charge.”