Multi-millionaire actress, Funke Akindele and her husband Abdulrasheed Bello have both been sentenced to 14 days of community service, and required to pay fines of N100,000 each for breaking the lockdown rules in Lagos state.
The duo were arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba, Ikeja by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba, led by DCP Etude Longe.
They both pleaded guilty to the one-count charge and immediately received the sentence.
As part of the sentence, the couple will be isolated for two weeks for the government to ascertain their Coronavirus status. They are also expected to turn in a list of everyone who attended the party.
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The actress had been arrested on Sunday for hosting a birthday party at their residence with over twenty persons, including popular musician Naira Marley, in attendance, contrary to the social distancing directives signed by the Governor, in pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.
Her husband turned himself in on Monday.
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Why the party?
Shortly before her arrest, the actress took to her twitter handle, explaining her actions to fans.
According to her, everyone who attended the party had been in boot camp within her estate, before the lockdown directive was given, and decided to stay in quarantine together after the directive.
“Nobody came from their house to party with us,” she said in her Twitter feed.
“I am sorry. I promise to always support the government in creating more awareness to eradicate this pandemic,” she added.
I hear you all and I acknowledge all your honest feedback.
I also thank you for your concerns, well wishes and calls.
I am sorry and hope this video offers some explanation.
— funke Akindele Bello (@funkeakindele) April 5, 2020
Naira Marley to face the music
Naira Marley, who had been summoned by the Lagos Police Command on Sunday, is now in police custody. He will be also be charged to court for violating the restriction orders, while the police track down other party attendees.
While social media users praised the instant administration of justice, they also criticized the judiciary for committing the same offense for which the Nollywood actress and her husband were arrested.
Clips from the court scene showed that the court was packed full with journalists, curious bloggers, fans, and critics who came to witness the sentence.
You dragged funke akindele,Now you have just one job,Drag the court and government officials for this mess.If you fail,you are a bastard.They were wrong, but this is worse, because I'm sure they knew how much crowd this kind of court proceedings will attract#funkeakindelebello pic.twitter.com/x8fnABERcT
— mmidé (@themidies) April 6, 2020
The number of attendees in the court was clearly over 20 as the couple had to be squeezed through, contravening the rule of social distancing.
— miss Tongue Talker? (@_amaka_j) April 6, 2020
What you should know
In 2019, Funke Akindele popularly known as ‘Jenifa’ was listed among the top 10 richest Nigerian actresses, with a net worth estimated to be over half a billion naira.