Popular Nollywood actress Funke Akindele aka Jenifer and her husband Abdulrasheed Bello aka JJC Skillz has been sentenced to 14 days of community service after being fined one hundred thousand naira each by the Lagos State Magistrate Court, Ogba, for violating the coronavirus restriction order placed by the Lagos state government.
Mrs Bello infringed on the state law after she hosted a party to celebrate the birthday of her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello on Saturday.
The party was graced by over 20 attendees including popular singer Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley which breached the social gatherings and social distancing ban.
Videos of the event trended on social media with lots of Nigerians calling for her arrest due to her breaking the social distancing and social gathering laws; owing to the fact that she is a dettol brand ambassador in the campaign against coronavirus in Nigeria.
Mrs Bello sensing the tension of the situation quickly sort to bring it under control by releasing a short video apologizing and explaining the situation.
“I have seen all the messages on Social Media. I will not intentionally mislead people.
“It was my husband’s birthday. Both of us run a studio which is located in Amen Estate where we live.
“When the pandemic started, we stopped all productions including our new projects.
“But before the lockdown was announced by our President, some youths have been in the boot camp here in Amen Estate – majority of the youths were those you saw in the video.
“Naira Marley came in here before the lockdown and when the lockdown was announced, he said he would love to stay back, saying he loves this environment.
“I said okay fine. Then my husband’s birthday came up. And we all came together as a family.
“Everybody in that video had been in Amen Estate some months before, weeks before and days before the lockdown. Nobody came from their houses to party with us.
“I am sorry if I have misled you. I appreciate your concerns and I promise to always practice what I preach.
“I promise to always support the government in creating more awareness to eradicate this pandemic,” she said on the video.
However, she and her husband were later arrested by the Lagos state police command and charged for contravening the Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 and committing an offence against the law by breaking Section 58 of the Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State 2015.”
After the sentence by Court, the Lagos State Police Command, released a press statement confirming the sentence and fine by the Court. It partly reads:
“The Court found the two guilty as charged and sentenced as follows:
“The defendants are to pay a fine of 100,000 each, sentenced to 14 days community service, three hours per day, excluding Saturday and Sunday; each Defender shall visit 10 important public places within Lagos State to educate the public on the consequences of non-compliance with the restriction order; and they must submit the names and phone numbers of every person who attended the party.
“They shall be placed on isolation by the State Government to determine their COVID-19 status.
“Furthermore, if the accused (Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz) fail to abide by the above directives, they shall attract more severe punishments’.”