Traders with sad faces lined the front entrances of the Wuse market and the UTC market in Area 10, Garki, Abuja, on Tuesday, following the closure of the markets by authorities.

PREMIUM TIMES observed that the entrances into both markets were locked Tuesday afternoon and heavily guarded by a contingent of police officers, soldiers, civil defence and other members of the joint task force.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration said the markets will be shut for three days for failing to comply with COVID-19 protocols thereby violating the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Monday, the Guardian Newspaper reported that an Abuja mobile court ordered the shutting down of Wuse Market, UTC market and Murg shopping mall for violating the presidential directive on COVID-19.

The court also convicted about 100 persons who were arrested by the enforcement team for not wearing face masks in public places, the report said.

President Buhari on January 26 signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy.

The law has five sections which include: Restrictions on Gatherings; 1) Operations of Public Places; 2) Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols; 3) Offences and Penalties; 4) Enforcement and Application; and 5) Interpretation and Citation.

The FCTA ratified the presidential directive three days ago, with a directive by FCT minister authorising security agencies to arrest anyone violating the guidelines.

The court order directing the closure of the markets was pasted at each of the entrance gates of the Wuse and UTC markets.