Coronavirus: Actress Funke Akindele arrested over house party

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The Lagos State Police Command has arrested star actress, Funke Akindele-Bello, for hosting a party in contravention of the government-ordered lockdown to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the actress had been taken to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba.

“Yes, we have Funke Akindele and we are looking for the others, who attended the party. She has been taken to the SCIID,” Elkana told our correspondent on the telephone.

It was learnt that policemen arrived Akindele-Bello’s Amen Estate residence, off the Lekki-Epe Expressway, in about three patrol vehicles.

Akindele-Bello, popularly known as Jenifa, who is married to singer, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, held a party in her husband’s honour on Saturday.

Singer, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, also attended the party, which had over 20 other persons in attendance.

Elkana later said in a statement, “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command was drawn to a viral video showing a large number of persons, mainly in the entertainment industry, in an estate in Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, in a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband.

“Police detectives from the SCIID, Yaba, were promptly drafted to the location. Funke Akindele-Bello was arrested. Investigation is ongoing and efforts are intensified to arrest the remaining persons in the video, among who are Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz.

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

Thousands of Nigerians had on social media called for the arrest of Akindele-Bello.

The actress had appeared in advertisements for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Dettol,  calling on Nigerians to observe social distancing and hygiene.

She later apologised for the incident, saying most of those who attended the party were colleagues, who were living temporarily on the estate and could not return to their home states, because of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations, 2020 (the Regulations) prescribes a jail term of one month or N100,000 fine or both for persons found guilty of hosting gatherings or flouting the lockdown order.

It reads in part, “Where there is a violation of a closedown or stay-at-home order, security agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person, who violates the closedown 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 or one-month imprisonment or three months’ community service.”

 

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