Lockdown Violation: Court Fines Funke Akindele, Husband N100,000 Each


*Orders couple’s isolation, community service for 14 days

*Police detain Naira Marley, launch manhunt for others

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba on Monday, found popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, guilty of violating the two-week restriction order imposed by the federal government.

The duo were charged to court for violating restriction order in Lagos by hosting a birthday party that had over 50 guests in attendance at their Amen Estate residence.

Following Akindele’s arrest on Sunday, her husband had on Monday morning surrendered himself to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba.

The duo were then brought before the magistrate by detectives from SCID Panti led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of investigation, DCP Yetunde Longe.

The prosecuting team was lead by the Hon Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.

The charges read against them were that “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.”

After the charge was read to the accused persons by the court, they both pleaded guilty.

The magistrate went on a 30-minute recess to fine tune her sentence which was delivered as follows: “The court finds you guilty as charged and sentenced.

“The defendants are to pay a fine of N100,000 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;

“Finally, 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.”

According to the court, failure to abide by the above directives shall attract more severe punishments.

Meanwhile, one of the attendees who was also declared wanted by the police, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, has also surrendered to the police.

Confirming this, the state Police Spokesperson, DSP Bala Elkana, said he would be charged to court for violating the restriction orders.

He added that the state police command had also launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party.

He said: “The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu expressed his profound gratitude to Lagosians and other well meaning Nigerians that spoke up against the violations. Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”