THE ADVENTURE OF FUNKE AKINDELE-BELLO, organising an in-house birthday party for her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, last Saturday, at their Lekki home, with many in attendant, against Lagos State and Presidential Orders, locking-down Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, to control the spread of the dreaded coronavirus in the country was very expensive. COVID-19 has claimed thousands of lives across the world, and death toll in Nigeria, still counting.
A Magistrate Court, in Ogba, Lagos State, presided by Y.O. Aje-Afunwa, Monday, convicted Funke Akindele and her husband, AbdulRasheed Bello, to 14 days community service and fine of N100,000 each, for flouting Lagos State Infectious Disease [Emergency Prevention Regulation 2020]. They are, also, to observe mandatory period of isolation.
Funke and her husband Bello, pleaded guilty to the one count charge file against them, by Lagos State Attorney General, Onigbanjo. He told the court that the couple flouted the directive of Lagos State government, when they gathered over 20 people at their Lekki home for a birthday party.
Standing in front of high a velocity moving train, has consequence. No one dares it, and hopes to stay alive to the tell the story. The report that Funke Akindele-Bello, Saturday, April 4, 2020, organised birthday party, against the State and National interest, required thorough questioning by the authorities. No one is above the law. Not when the country, along with the world is in a state of health emergency.
The arrest of Funke Akindele-Bello, by Lagos State Police Command, and the couple put on trial, put to rest the question whether official action would be taken against her and her husband for violating the law of the land.
Bala Elkana, Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command’s statement, Sunday evening said: “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.” Welcome development, many Nigerians have said. The authorities, has shown clearly, that it is at work in this case, in line with the laws of the land.
Apart from the host, Akindele and her husband – all those present at the birthday party, need to report to the police, or risk being declared wanted, as well. They should all be subjected to compulsory self-isolation and tested for CONVID-19, and be brought to justice, as deterrent to others.
Nigerians in their numbers, on twitter, criticised Funke Akindele, for organising the house party, when there was sit-at-home order. “What Funke Akindele and the husband did was highly irresponsible, adding that the duo were expected to know better. How can you organise a house party with so many people in attendance at this time when social distancing is very important, it is really disappointing,” Mazi Olisaemeka, twitter handle @olisasage said.
In reaction to public criticism of the birthday gathering, Facebook Video of Akindele went viral, Sunday, and she said: “Uncle don’t create unnecessary sensation. #omoghettothesaga was to be filmed Before the lockdown and some of us had been camped in Amen Estate. So we had to stay in there. So we are safe and happy!! Let’s not be NEGATIVE!! We all have been together for over two weeks. We are safe and take all precautions”.
JJC Skillz was on Instagram Live, and said: “Yesterday we had a bit of an unexpected turn-up. But we thank God. A lot of people are ranting and talking online. It’s your data. You’re very free. Please, go ahead. But, I could tell you guys, we’re safe and sound… Everyone that came to the party has been in Amen Estate for about a month now…”
Many Nigerians have taken Akindele and her husband’s video and Instagram reactions to the violation of national and state restrictions order, backed by legislation; under health emergency situation, as arrogance and national embarrassment. The bitter pill is their conviction by a magistrate court.