BREAKING: Nollywood star, Funke Akindele, husband convicted, sentenced to 14-day community service, fined N100,000 each

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Funke Akindele Bello, right, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello a.k.a. JJC Skills with their face covered, after they were sentenced for flouting the law of Lagos State Government, at the Magistrate Court Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday April 6, 2020.

*Court vows to impose more severe punishments on failure to abide by rules

By Rachael Adebayo and Sumayyah Adefaka

 

“The Court 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; 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; and 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. Failure to abide by the above directives shall attract more severe punishments.”

 

Nollywood star, Funke Akindele, and her husband,, AbdulRasheed Bello alias JJC Skills, have been convicted, sentenced to 14-day community service at three hours per day, excluding Saturday and Sunday by an Ogba Magistrate Court in Lagos, for flouting the state Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.

Delivering judgment after the couple pleaded guilty, Magistrate Y.O. Aje-Afunwa ordered the defendant 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 and vowed that more severe punishments will be imposed on the duo should they fail to abide by the directives contained in the judgment.

The couple who were arraigned before Magistrate Aje Afunwa pleaded guilty to the one count charge brought against them by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.

Onigbanjo told the court that Funke and her husband Bello flouted the directives of the Lagos State Governor when they gathered more than 20 people at their Lekki home.

The charge reads: “That you, Funke Akindele, Abdul Rasheed Bello on the 4th day of April, 2020 at 9,Gbadamosi 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.

The DEFENDER reports that the couple were arrested on Sunday by the Lagos State Police Command for violating the law on social distancing and restrictions, on Sunday April 5, 2020 at their Amen Estate, Lekki, Lagos.

Confirming the judgment in a statement also sent to The DEFENDER, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, said Funke Akindele Bello and her husband were arraigned in Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba on one court charge.

According to Elkana, “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, DCP Yetunde Longe. The prosecuting team was lead by the Hon Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.  The charge was read to the accused persons by the Court and they pleaded guilty.

“The Court 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; 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; and 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. Failure to abide by the above directives shall attract more severe punishments.”

Brief facts

Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz | Pulse | Guardian|

He said: “The brief facts of the case as contained in the charge are: 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.

“The suspects were arrested by operatives of Lagos State Police Command 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 organised by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband Abdul Rasheed Bello,” the Lagos State PPRO said.

About Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley, who was among other offenders told to report to police station in their own best interest, DSP Elkana said he was now in Police custody and that he would equally be charged to court.

“He will also be charged to Court for violating the restriction orders. The Command has launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party. The Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc expressed his profound gratitude to Lagosians and other well meaning Nigerians that speak up against the violations. Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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