Court slams popular Nigerian actress Funke Akindele and husband with $520 fine and 14 days of community service followed by self-isolation for violating coronavirus social gathering order

Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde, popularly known as Funke Akindele, is a Nigerian actress and producer who starred in the sitcom I Need to Know from 1998 to 2002, and in 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role. She played the lead character in the show Jenifa’s Diary, for which she was named Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Nigerian actress Funke Akindele and husband AbdulRasheed Bello have been found guilty for violating Lagos State government Law on social gatherings.

The court fined them N100,000 each ($520 for both) and 14 days of community service followed by a period of self isolation, local news site Case File reported on Monday.

The actress and her husband had earlier pleaded guilty for breaking a law meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria.

There were at least 5 dead and more than 230 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria on Monday morning.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charge against them when they were brought before Chief Magistrate Aje-Afuwa on Monday.

“The defenfants, Funke Akindele and Abdul Rasheed Bello were charged for a one count offence bordering on social distancing of Lagos State government made pursuant to regulation 8(1)(a)(b) 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law Cap. P.16 Vol 9, Laws of Lagos State, 2015,” reported local newspaper Case File.

Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde, popularly known as Funke Akindele, is a Nigerian actress and producer who starred in the sitcom I Need to Know from 1998 to 2002, and in 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role. She played the lead character in the show Jenifa’s Diary, for which she was named Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

The couple would to be charged at the Magistrate Court 1 in Ogba, Lagos.

Reports quoted Bala Elkana, the Lagos State police spokesman as saying that the charges would test the new law recently passed by the State Assembly and signed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“The Attorney General is expected to be in court since they (Funke Akindele and her Husband) are the first to be apprehended for flouting the restriction law. In accordance with the provisions of the law, the couple may be sentenced or have an option of fine. The bill recommends a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one-month incarceration in the correctional centre or three-month community service. There is also a clause that could see offenders pay up to N200,000,” reported local TV station, Channels TV.

The Lagos state police command confirmed the arrest of actress Funke Akindele in a statement on Sunday.

Police said she was arrested following a viral video “showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party”.

The birthday party was reportedly organized by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband, police said.

Police said singer Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley and JJC Skillz were among those seen at the party and asked the duo to report at the State CID Yaba on Monday.

Read full statement

“The Attention of Lagos State Police Command was drawn to a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband.

“Police detectives from the State CID Yaba were promptly drafted to the location.

“Funke Akindele was arrested.

“Investigation is ongoing, efforts are intensified to arrest the remaining persons in the video, among whom are Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley and Abdul Rasheed Bello a.k.a. JJC Skillz.

“They are in their best interests urged to report at the State CID Yaba on Monday 6th April, 2020 or risk being declared wanted.

DSP Bala Elkana

“Police Public Relations Officer,
Lagos State Command.”

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: [email protected]

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