COVID-19: Jabi Lake Mall sealed for hosting Naira Marley Show

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Edozie Udeojo, Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has sealed Jabi Lake Mall for violating the ban on public gatherings.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19 has sealed Jabi Lake Mall for violating the Presidential Task Force’s directives on the ban on public and social gatherings as well as the dusk to dawn curfew put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Chairman of the Taskteam on COVID-19 Restrictions, Attah Ikharo, lamented that despite several warnings, the management of the mall opted for a concert which featured Naira Marley. He said they also conducted business activities which exceeded the normal hours allowed by the authorities.

He disclosed that the Administration has secured a judgement from a mobile court headed by Magistrate Idayat Akonni, who sat in the Mall’s premises in Jabi to seal it for two weeks.

Asides violating the rules of social distancing and the use of face masks in public places, the concert breached the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew in the territory, the authorities said.

Ikharo, who said a three-count charge has been brought against the management of the Mall, explained that the seal order was necessitated by the the unlawful and embarrassing event at the mall Friday night.

Asked if the FCT Administration plans to declare Marley wanted, Attah replied: “He flew in to Abuja Friday from Lagos and returned same day. We are convinced that the Lagos State government which had in recent past had an unpleasant experience with the artiste will do the needful since he also breached the inter state travel ban.”

The event had attracted a wave of public backlash on Sunday with many residents accusing the government including Aviation authorities of double standards. In her ruling, the magistrate ordered that the mall be sealed for two weeks.

Nigeria Daily gathered that hip-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, held a concert at Jabi mall on Saturday in contravention of the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.

An ex-Big Brother Naija housemate, Kim Oprah, was the event anchor.

The concert was put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El’Carnival, and was sponsored by Glenfiddich.

Nairabox and Ariiya sold the concert’s tickets for N20,000 and N250,000.

Naira Marley, 26, and Oprah shared videos of themselves inside a private jet owned by Jetlyfe, en route Abuja and upon arriving in the federal capital.

A flier advertising the concert which was shared on Instagram on Saturday by the organisers and Oprah indicated that it was meant to be a drive-through.

But this was not the case as videos circulating on social media show Naira Marley performing on stage before a crowd at the venue.

But the organisers said they instructed the crowd to go back to their cars before Naira Marley mounted the stage and have proof to back their claims.

This has sparked outrage on social media with many comparing their actions to that of Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, who was on April 6, arrested and fined for hosting a party in her Lekki home in violation of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Naira Marley, who is not a stranger to controversies, was also indicted when he showed up at the party which Akinedele organised in honour of her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, also known as JJC Skillz.

Many Nigerians have also taken to social media to criticise Naira Marley, Oprah, and the organisers of the concert, Play Network.

Nigeria Daily gathered that the FCT Administration may move further and trace the whereabouts of guest who attended the concert and quarantine them for 14 days. A source who spoke to Nigeria Daily, said the FCT Minister or the COVID-19 Committee will make a official statement after which they will swing into action and trace those who attended the concert.

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