Funke Akindele, husband sentenced to 14 days community service for flouting Lagos lockdown order

The Nigerian star actress, Funke Akindele-Bello, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, have been sentenced to 14 days community service for flouting the Lagos State lockdown order.

Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband were arrested by operatives of Lagos State Police Command on Sunday, following a viral video showing a large number of persons, mainly in the entertainment industry in Lagos celebrating a birthday party they organised.

The party was held despite a directive by the Lagos State government against such gatherings as the government battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lagos is Nigeria’s most affected state with about 100 COVID-19 cases and two deaths recorded.

The celebrity couple pleaded guilty to violating a government lockdown by holding a social party attended by scores of their friends and fans.

They were arraigned  on Monday at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Ogba, Lagos, on one count charge.

They were brought to court by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of investigation, Yetunde Longe.

The prosecuting team was lead by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo.

The charge was read to the accused persons by the court clerk after which they pleaded guilty.

The magistrate found them 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.

The magistrate also ruled that each defendant 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 that attended the party. 

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The judge further ruled that they shall be placed on isolation by the state government to determine their COVID-19 status, adding that failure to abide by the court orders shall attract more severe punishments, the magistrate said.

The brief fact of the case as contained in the charge is: “On 04/04/2020, the two accused persons held a party at their residents with over twenty persons in attendance contrary to the social distancing directives made in pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 and therefore committed an offence under Section 58 of the Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State 2015. ”

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