Minister: Naira Marley will be prosecuted

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, has announced that rapper Azeez Fashola who is popularly known as Naira Marley, and some members of his team, will have their days in court.

Marley’s June 13 concert in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja has been widely criticized and condemned for its blatant flouting of COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

FCT authorities have shut down the Jabi Lake Mall venue of the concert and Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika has temporarily withdrawn the license of Executive Jets–the airline that flew Marley and his crew to Abuja.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary Anthony Ogunleye, Bello said “there is a very real possibility that a single positive individual at that event could by now have gone ahead to infect several others thereby leading to a possible exponential spread” of the novel coronavirus.

The minister adds that the FCT administration views the actions of the organisers and attendees at the concert as “reckless, wicked, insensitive and utter disrespect and disregard both for the law and the well-being and welfare of fellow citizens.

“The FCT administration, which has a responsibility to protect the lives of the citizenry, is determined to prosecute all those involved in orchestrating these infractions to the full extent of the law.

“Videos of the event which are still circulating on social media clearly showed a concert going on with music and live performances by a band and dancers.

The video also showed attendees dancing to the live performances on the elaborately constructed stage.

“For purposes of emphasis the PTF and FCTA’s guidelines clearly states the following; There shall be no gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace or places of worship. There should be mandatory use of face masks when in public.

“There should be social distancing of at least 2 meters between 2 people while in public. There is a ban on all congregational events such as parties, weddings, concerts etc.

“There is a closure of all clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theaters and so on. Markets and business premises are to remain open between 8 am and 4 pm.

“There is a ban on interstate travel. All the guidelines as postulated above were clearly violated as the videos available on social media indicate.”

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