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Funke & hubby fined N100,000 each for flouting Lagos social distancing directive
Nollywood actress Funke Akindele and her husband AbdulRasheed Bello have been convicted and fined N100,000 each by an Ogba Magistrate Court for flouting the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.
Delivering judgment after the couple pleaded guilty, Magistrate Y.O. Aje-Afunwa ordered the defendants to pay N100,000 naira each as fine.
The magistrate also held that the couple must serve 14 days community service and thereafter to observe period of isolation.
The charge reads: ‘That you, Funke Akindele, Abdul Rasheed Bello on the 4th day of April, 2020 at 9,Gbadamosl Close, Amen Estate, lbeju Lekki in the Lagos Magisterial District gathered at the aforementioned address with over twenty persons contrary to the social distancing directives of Mr Governor of Lagos State made pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) & (b) and 17(1)“) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease(Emergency Prevention)Regulation 2020 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 58 Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol.9 Laws of Lagos State, 2015.’
The couple who were represented by their lawyer, Abayomi Alagbada, however, pleaded for leniency after pleading guilty to the charge.
Alagbada said : I plead for leniency on the following grounds; both of them are first offenders, they are respectable members of society and have two young children”.
Following the defendants’ guilty plea, Onigbanjo asked the court to sentence them accordingly.
After taking their plea, Magistrate Aje-Afunwa stood the matter down for 30 minutes and went into her chamber.
Meanwhile, Naira Marley has surrendered himself to the police at State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos State.
The state police command spokesperson, Bala Elkana, who confirmed this, said Naira Marley arrived the SCID office on Monday afternoon April 6, and has been interrogated.
He will also be charged to court for violating the restriction orders. The police say the command has launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party organized by Funke Akindele and her hubby over the weekend.
Yesterday, in a wildly outrageous reaction on social media, Mrs. Akindele’s actions were called to notice, as people demanded she be punished for so casually flouting a law which could influence the safety of many.
It reads in part, “Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.
“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one-month imprisonment or three months Community service.”
Earlier today, pictures from Funke Akindele’s court trial (an event which defeated the sense of arrest even; that is, social distancing) circulated on social media and elsewhere, as many called out the glaring recklessness in display, allowing the trial to hold in such way, and with the large crowd, exposing even more people to the threat of the COVID-19 virus.
But certainly, we ought to lash at the relevant authorities which let this court proceeding hold, and even worse, in this manner. We ought to – to borrow that prevalent term – drag them till we can’t no more.