Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Funke Akindele’s Conviction

Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele-Bello

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till July 21, a suit challenging the conviction of popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz and 236 others.

The suit which was filed by a Lagos lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that the law upon which Akindele and others were convicted was inconsistent with the 1999 constitution.

He also argues that the arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction and sentencing of Akindele and others lacks legal backing.

It’s not clear if the legal practitioner, Olukoya Ogungbeje who filed the suit in his name was briefed by the Nollywood actress to initiate the action but the lawyers insists that, “I have a duty to protect and defend the sanctity of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any contravention or infraction,”.

At the proceedings today, counsel representing the Lagos State Government, Jonathan Ogunsanya filed and served its preliminary objection to the suit.

In the preliminary objection, the Lagos State Government is challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High court to entertain the suit which cause of action it says arose from the acts of the police as agents of the State under the laws of the state.

The State government also says that the suit is an abuse of court process. It, therefore, wants the court to strike out the same.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu has adjourned till July 21 to enable the applicants file their response to the preliminary objections served on them by the Lagos State Government.

Funke Akindele and others were arrested, tried, and convicted for violating the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.

The actress had hosted a birthday party in her Lagos residence to celebrate her husbands birthday.

Court To Hear Suit Challenging Conviction Of Funke Akindele, 237 Others

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
File photos.

 

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos is set to hear a suit challenging the conviction of popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who is popularly known as JJC Skillz, and 236 others.

This comes as Justice Maureen Onyetenu fixes July 10 to hear the suit which was filed by a Lagos lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

In the suit, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that the law upon which Akindele and others were convicted was inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution.

He also argued that the arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Akindele and others lacked a legal backing.

The legal practitioner insisted that the offence for which they were convicted was unknown to the law and could not be grounds for criminal liability.

“I have a duty to protect and defend the sanctity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any contravention or infraction,” the lawyer said.

Funke Akindele and others were arrested, tried, and convicted for violating the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.

The actress had hosted a birthday party in early April at her Lagos residence to celebrate her husband’s birthday.

COVID-19: These Few Weeks Have Been A Learning Curve – Funke Akindele

Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele-Bello

 

Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele Bello has admitted that the past few weeks have been a learning curve for her even though challenging.

On April 6, 2020, the actress and her husband AbdulRasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz, were sentenced to 14 days community service.

Funke Akindele and her husband were charged to court for violating the COVID-19 restriction orders in Lagos and were also fined 100,000 each.

While speaking in a video posted on her official Twitter handle on Sunday evening for the first time since the ruling, Funke admitted that she had been on a learning curve in the past weeks.

READ ALSO: Lockdown Violation: Funke Akindele, Husband To Be Charged To Court

She, however, said she has learned to keep “moving forward” in spite of the difficulties.

In the video, she called on her fans and Nigerians to keep following instructions from the government, warning them that “coronavirus is real.”

“Thank you so much for all the love, support, feedbacks; calls. I really appreciate it,” she said. “These past few weeks have been a learning curve but we must keep moving forward.”

She called on Nigerians to support Lagos and the Federal Government, “We all must continue to collaborate with the Lagos state government and the Federal government by staying at home, staying safe.

“We must ensure we wash our hands regularly and maintain social distancing so as to contain the spread of the virus.”

According to her, “A lot of us are so used to ourselves or trust a group of friends that we forget to practice social distancing.

“But trust me, it is very important this period. Social distancing will help to contain the spread of COVID-19. Prevention is better than cure.”

She prayed also, that “this pandemic will pass soon,” calling on people to stay at home and stay safe as well, stressing that “we can only fight for our dreams if we are alive.”

The actress condoled with those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic while thanking health workers for their efforts in curbing the spread of the virus.

See Tweet Below:

Funke Akindele, Naira Marley Busted, M.I And Vector On Same Song + More

 

The government’s efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 took a dramatic twist this week with the arrest of popular actress, Funke Akindele Bello and her husband, JJC Skillz for defying the government’s social distancing directive by hosting a birthday party at her home in Lagos.

Others also caught in the web included popular singer Naira Marley, and former Lagos State Governorship candidate of the ADP, Babatunde Gbadamosi.

We bring you details of all that on this week’s episode of the Vibez, as well as M.I and Vector’s interesting collaboration on the remix of Mayorkun’s ‘Geng’ and much more.

We’re also enjoying some new music from Tekno while we anticipate something new from the movie world.

As the world struggles to survive through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that you do your part as you #stayhome and #staysafe.

Vibez is your weekly recap of the top trends in the world of showbiz.

Lockdown: Gbadamosi, Naira Marley Tender Apology To Lagos Govt

 

 

Former Lagos State governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Gbadamosi, his wife Folasade, including popular singer, Naira Marley have written individual letters of apology and undertaking to support the Lagos State Government in all areas to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their lawyers confirmed this to Magistrate Yewande Aje-Afunwa at the resumed sitting of the Magistrate court in Ogba on Thursday.

Wale Akoni SAN, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN and Damilola Ayinde-Marshal who represented the three defendants told the court that all the letters written by the defendants have been given to the police at SCID, Panti, for onward transmission to the Honourable Attorney-General of Lagos, Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN.

The State’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yakub Oshoala who subsequently applied that the charge against them be struck out also confirmed that they will go into isolation for the next 14days.

READ ALSO: Comedian AY Apologises Over Tweet Regarding Funke Akindele’s Ordeal

In her ruling, Magistrate Aje-Afunwa held that “Upon the oral application of the DPP brought pursuant to section 71 & 73 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws of Lagos, and pursuant to the fact that the three defendants have complied with all the conditions, leave is hereby granted by the court to the Attorney-General to withdraw the charge against the three defendants.

“Accordingly, the three defendants are hereby discharged.”

She commended the competence of the AG, the members of the prosecution and the defence team, for the way they have handled this case, which is novel in this state.

She also commended the three defendants for taking responsibility for their errors.

Meanwhile, one of the defence lawyers, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has made an appeal for state pardon for popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele and others.

Mr Adegboruwa, said since the State Government made the case in court, it was not out to persecute citizens, Akindele should be granted reprieve, especially as she has demonstrated remorse for her conduct.

He also added that since the Federal Government is granting amnesty to 2,600 prisoners, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu should emulate this good gesture and show fatherly love to Akindele and her husband.

This gesture he believes should also be extended to all those arrested for jogging on the streets, as they could not have all set out deliberately to disobey the COVID-19 regulation.

Adegboruwa said since we are facing a novel situation at hand, government should show some magnanimity to its citizens, as it is being done all over the world.

“Nigerians have never been locked down for this long, without food or money and it is not proper to add to their woes with arrest and prosecution,” Adegboruwa said.

He commended the steps so far taken by the government and urged all Nigerians to continue to cooperate with the government to end the scourge.

Proceedings: How Lagos Govt Reached Agreement To Pardon Naira Marley, Gbadamosi

 

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday agreed to withdraw charges against former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi and his wife Folasade; and popular singer Naira Marley.

Below is the full proceedings and the conditions given to the defendants by the court.

Proceedings started at 11:20 a.m.

Naira Marley dressed in white shirt and black jeans was called into the dock.

Babatunde Gbadamosi dressed in brown native followed and third defendant, his wife, Folasade was dressed in blue top on black Jeans.

All three defendants had on facemasks.

The DPP Lagos, Yakub Oshoala led the Prosecution alongside Dr Babajide Martins a Director in the office of the DPP; Adetutu Osinusi, a Deputy Director in the office of the DPP; Jonathan Ogunsanya and Afolabi Solebo who are both assistant directors in the office of the DPP.

For the defence team, Olawale Akoni SAN alongside Dr Bayo Adaralegbe represented the second defendant, Babatunde Gbadamosi while Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN alongside O. Awonuga represented the third defendant Folasade Gbadamosi.

Naira Marley was represented by Damilola Ayinde-Marshall alongside Afeez Olabisi.

After announcement of appearance, the DPP told the court that even though the state has filed a charge before the court, a few minutes before the court sat, the AG & Comm for Justice, Moyo Onigbanjo SAN forwarded a directive to him that having considered the remorsefulness of the three defendants, the AG has considered diverting the case out of court based on the defendants fulfilling three conditions.

(1) They have to write a formal apology to the Government of Lagos State which will solidify the remorsefulness shown by them.

(2) They have to give an undertaking in writing that they will continue to comply with the directives of Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) and Mr Governor (Babajide Sanwo-Olu) which is the subject matter of the case before the court.

(3) In view of the danger which the state believes they’ve put themselves by attending a gathering exceeding 20 persons, they must agree to go on 14 days isolation to protect other members of the public from any likely danger.

Mr Oshoala also submitted that this is absolutely necessary “in view of the fact that some individuals who travelled from countries with huge COVID-19 cases were present at the party.

He stressed that the state is not a persecutor but it is always ready to enforce the laws that benefit the interest of the public.

“If they agree to these conditions, the four counts will be withdrawn and that will be the end of the matter. We will keep it in abeyance. That’s our submission,” Oshoala said.

Akoni: On behalf of the second defendant, we wish to express our appreciation to the state, the DPP and to confirm to the court that we accept the three conditions.

Adegboruwa: On behalf of the third defendant, we express our appreciation to his excellency, Mr President and the Governor, the AG, The DPP & his team, the Police and most of all the court.

The third defendant is a law-abiding citizen and accepts all that three conditions as stipulated by the DPP.

Ayinde-Marshall: On behalf of the first defendant, we say a big thank you to the police, the President, Mr Governor and the DPP.

My client is a law-abiding citizen too and a strict supporter of government policies.

We undertake that we will fulfil the three conditions given to them.

DPP: Having agreed to these conditions and having already dealt with the principal defendants, Funke Akindele and her husband, we hereby withdraw the charge before the court.

However, for the purpose of clarity, I request the defendant to put their phones numbers so that the personnel from the Ministry of Health can get in touch with them, having agreed to go into self-isolation.

Also within today and tomorrow morning latest, the undertakings must reach the AG through their lawyers and the OC Legal to show their sincerity.We are grateful to the court.

Magistrate Aje-Afunwa: This honourable court has listened to the request of the learned DPP indicating that the state requests to withdraw the charge on the condition that they fulfill all the conditions as stipulated by the prosecution.

Since the defendants have all agreed to comply with the conditions, I wish to state that the procedure for the withdrawal of a criminal charge is that before the charge is withdrawn, the conditions must be met or be seen to be met.

In the circumstances of this case, the court will adjourn to enable the defence put its house in order and the prosecution will address the court in how the defendants have complied. If all the parties agree, the court will adjourn till tomorrow.

DPP: No objections

Akoni: No objections

Adegboruwa: No objections to adjournment till tomorrow

Ayinde-Marshall: No objections.

Court: Since it was agreed on 24 hours for compliance with the conditions, the court believes 12noon tomorrow is appropriate for withdrawal of the charge.

Case is adjourned to April 9, at 12noon for withdrawal or for taking of plea if conditions fail to be complied with.

In line with the regulations of the government, we all must continue to ensure that the regulations are strictly complied with in our homes and in all public places.

Comedian AY Apologises Over Tweet Regarding Funke Akindele’s Ordeal

 

Nigerian comedian Ayo Makun (popularly known as AY) has apologised over his tweet criticising the backlash against Funke Akindele, the convicted movie actress.

The comedian had been the subject of criticisms since his Monday post.
“Twitterians abeg na! Since yesterday my chest has been paining me with no appetite 4 food.

The insults are too much. Can you all just reduce my sentence to joining @funkeakindele for community service and self-isolation from Twitter for 14 days? I am sorry. Una pity person papa na.”

READ ALSO:  Lagos State Govt Moves To Withdraw Charge Against Naira Marley, Gbadamosi, Others

Ms Akindele (popularly known as Jenifa) on Monday pleaded guilty to breaching Lagos State’s social distancing law after a viral video showed the actress hosting a birthday party for her husband. She was sentenced to 14 days of community service.

AY had expressed displeasure at the calls for the actress’s prosecution and added that she “will rise again.”

Gbadamosi, Naira Marley In Police Custody Over Funke Akindele’s Party

Babatunde Gbadamosi                                                                                                           Naira Marley

 

 

The former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi, as well as pop singer, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, have been taken into custody by the police.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who disclosed this in a statement, said both men turned themselves in after flouting the state government’s restriction order on social distancing.

He noted that they were among those who attended a party organised by Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele Bello.

“About seven persons among several others who flouted the stay at home order of the state government to attend a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele Bello and husband, Abdulrasheed Bello aka JJC Skillz, have reported to the police,” Elkana added.

The police spokesperson said other suspects who turned themselves in included members of JJC Skillz family who attended the party, and some boys who accompanied Naira Marley to the event.

According to him, the police are analysing the video which went viral, showing all faces of people at the party.

Elkana warned that those who refused to turn themselves in would be arrested.

Actress, Funke Akindele and her husband defied both the State and the Federal government orders on Saturday when they hosted a house party in celebration of JJC Skillz’s birthday.

On Monday, the couple were sentenced to one week of community service and asked to pay a fine of N100,000 each.

Lockdown Violation: Naira Marley In Police Custody Over Funke Akindele’s Party

 

Police in Lagos State say they have Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley in their custody. 

The singer was ordered to report to the State CID Yaba on Monday, following his participation in a party organised by famous actress, Funke Akindele and her husband AbdulRasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz.

Akindele and her husband who were arraigned earlier today at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba, were charged to court for violating restriction orders in Lagos.

READ ALSO: Funke Akindele, Husband Sentenced To 14 Days Community Service, Fined N100,000 Each

The duo who were were brought to court by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba, are said to have held a party at their residence 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.

It is in line with this violation that Naira Marley is in custody, because he attended the birthday party which held at an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis.

In its statement on the mater, the Lagos Police Command noted that Naira Marley will also be charged to Court for violating the restriction orders.

The communique added that the Command has launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party.

Funke Akindele, Husband Sentenced To 14 Days Community Service, Fined N100,000 Each

 

Famous Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele and her husband, AbdulRasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz, have been sentenced to 14 days community service. 

Funke Akindele and her husband were charged to court for violating restriction orders in Lagos.

On the 6th of April, 2020 at about 11am, Funke Akindele Bello and her husband Abdul Rasheed Bello were arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba on one count charge.

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.

READ ALSO: Lockdown Violation: Naira Marley In Police Custody Over Funke Akindele’s Party

Having been found guilty as charged, they were 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.

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.

In a statement on Monday, Police Spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana noted that Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley is now in police custody.

According to DSP Elkana, the singer will also be charged to Court for violating the restriction orders.

He further revealed that the command has launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party.

The Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, expressed his profound gratitude to Lagosians and other well meaning Nigerians that speak up against the violations, stressing that together the nation can stop the spread of COVID-19.

Funke Akindele, Husband Plead Guilty To Social Distancing Violation

 

Celebrated Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele and her husband, AbdulRasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz, have pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of hosting a gathering of over 20 persons, contrary to the social distancing directives of the Lagos State Government.

The actress and her husband were arraigned on Monday at the Samuel Ilori Courthouse of the Magistrate Court in Ogba, Lagos.

The charge against them is made pursuant to the Regulation 8(1a &b) and S 17(1) of the State’s Infectious Disease Regulation 2020.


RELATED:

Lockdown: Police Arrest Funke Akindele, Ask Naira Marley To Report Self

Lockdown Violation: Funke Akindele, Husband To Be Charged To Court


According to the regulation, anyone found guilty is liable to one-month imprisonment or N100,000.

At the time of filing this report, the Attorney-General of Lagos, Moyo Onigbanjo SAN was leading the Prosecution for the State.

The defence counsel, Mr Abayomi Alagbada in his allocutus pleaded for leniency on grounds that the couple are first time offenders, adding that they are respectable members of society and have two young children.

Proceedings are ongoing, however, journalists were not allowed into the courtroom because the police authorities cited the need to maintain social distancing.

Lockdown Violation: Funke Akindele, Husband To Be Charged To Court

 

Nollywood actress and producer, Funke Akindele, is to be charged to court in Lagos, following a violation of the restriction orders in the state as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Also being charged to court by the police command in Lagos, is Akindele’s husband, who turned himself in after an order demanding that he makes himself available.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, Bala Elkana, had confirmed the Nollywood star’s arrest on Sunday, noting that it was predicated on a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry partying at a certain location.

Mr Elkana further revealed that the crowd was celebrating a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele and her husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello – popularly known as JJC Skillz, in an estate along Ajah in the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.

The command’s spokesman revealed that police detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Yaba were promptly drafted to the location where the actress was arrested.

He noted that the police had commenced investigation while making efforts to arrest other persons identified in the video.

READ ALSO: Governor Seyi Makinde Tests Negative For COVID-19

According to Mr Elkana, singer Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley and JJC Skillz were among those seen at the party.

He asked the duo to report at the State CID Yaba on Monday in their interest or risk being declared wanted.

Having complied with the order on Monday, the police proceeded to charge JJC Skillz and his wife Funke Akindele for violating the lockdown order.

The couple are to be charged at the Magistrate Court 1 in Ogba.

According to the police spokesman, this will be the test run for the new law recently passed by the State Assembly and signed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Attorney General is expected to be in court since they (Funke Akindele and her Husband) are the first to be apprehended for flouting the restriction law.

In accordance with the provisions of the law, the couple may be sentenced or have an option of fine.

The bill recommends a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one-month incarceration in the correctional centre or three-month community service.

There is also a clause that could see offenders pay up to N200,000.

Funke, who came under attack by some Twitter users for her action, has since tendered an apology in a video, however, this gesture did not douse the debate stirred by her actions, giving her position in the society.