Adelani Adepegba and Tobi Aworinde
Nigerians expressed mixed views on Friday, following the decision of an Abuja mobile court ordering an artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, to pay a N200,000 fine for violating the COVID-19 protocols.
While some self-described ‘Marlians’ criticised the Federal Government for “chasing after shadows instead of the societal issues affecting the country,” others commended the judgment.
One @victoriousman23 said, “If Naira Marley was arrested for violating lockdown rules. Where is the Niger Delta Development Commission director who cannot give us how much money was spent during his stay in the office?”
Also, @edwardbode said, “Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress are holding a rally in Edo State. Presidential Task Force broke this same law during Abba Kyari’s burial. Governors broke this law when they visited Ajimobi’s wife. But you guys clamp down on youths when they break the rules.”
But @AlfaBaba2511 said, “This is a step in the right direction for disobedient Naira Marley. At least, it will serve as a deterrent to him and his likes!”
Similarly, @Nonya_emili said, “Why is he always putting himself in these kind of situations?”
The controversial ‘Mafo’ artiste and his manager, Seyi Awouga, were ordered by a Lagos court to pay N100,000 each for violating the COVID-19 protocols, but barely 24 hours later, the Abuja court fined Naira Marley N200,000 for violating the presidential restrictions.
The FCT Administration had filed four counts bordering on violation of COVID-19 guidelines against the singer, following his concert on June 13, at the Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja.
He is charged with the four counts, including violating interstate travel ban, not using a face mask, breaking the social distancing order, and attending a concert breaching the COVID-19 restriction order on social gathering.
The FCT Administration had earlier sealed off Jabi Mall for two weeks after the musical show.
During his trial at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Friday, Naira Marley pleaded guilty and the presiding Magistrate Idayat Akanni ordered him to pay the N200,000 fine.
The magistrate further ordered him to publish a public apology in any national newspaper.
Meanwhile, the singer has shared a hilarious video on his Twitter account showing his current mood after his recent court verdict, which showed a Nigerian Fuji singer, K1 De Ultimate, praising himself during one of his live performances.
Meanwhile, a mobile court in Edo State has also convicted 39 defaulters for violating the COVID-19 protocols in the state.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Edo, Mr Henry Benemaisia, on Friday, said 39 persons were convicted for violating the COVID-19 FRSC protocol.