Court fines Naira Marley N200,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols

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An Abuja Mobile Court on Friday convicted and fined Nigerian musician Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley N200,000 for violating COVID-19 restrictions on June 13.

Naira Marley was arraigned on a four-count charge of violating interstate travel ban, not using facemask, breaking the social –distancing order and attending a concert breaching the COVID-19 restriction order on social gathering.

He pleaded guilty to all charges against him and was fined the sum of N200,000 by Magistrate Idayat Akanni.

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The singer and his manager Seyi Awonuga were earlier arraigned Thursday by the Lagos State Police Command.

Lagos State spokesman of police command Bala Elkana said Naira Marley and Awonuga committed an offence punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law, Ch. P16, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

They both pleaded guilty and was awarded a fine of N200,000 each by the presiding magistrate.

The singer first courted COVID-19 controversy after attending a party at the residence of actress Funke Akindele who was celebrating her husband’s birthday party, during a statewide lockdown.

Speaking earlier, Counsel to the artiste, Mohammed Yunusa said that his client was made to believe that the organisers of the concert had procured all the approval from the Federal Government.

The Chief State Counsel, Udeme Umana, said: “the court also mandated him to publish an public apology to the Federal Government in a national daily of choice.

“This will serve as a detterent to other Nigerians”.

The ‘Mafo’ crooner had on June 13, left Lagos for the Federal Capital Territory to perform at a concert held at the Jabi Lake Mall.

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

Following public outrage, the FCT Minister shut down the mall and the Federal Government of Nigeria stopped the operation of the airline whose plane he chartered.