Funke Akindele risks imprisonment for flouting COVID-19 lockdown order

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*Funke, JJC Skillz

Nollywood actress, Mrs. Funke Akindele-Bello, risks one-month imprisonment or three months community service or a fine of N100, 000 for contravening the government’s coronavirus disease lockdown directive.

This followed her arrest on Sunday for hosting star-studded celebrity house party last Saturday in honour of her husband, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bello, aka, JJC Skillz who celebrated his birthday.

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.

The law states, among other things: “Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security agencies shall have power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least forty-eight (48) hours.

“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of one Hundred Thousand Naira fine (N100, 000.00) or one (1) month imprisonment or three (3) months Community service.”

Though the actress tendered profuse apology for her action yesterday, she was arrested at their Lekki-Epe Expressway residence and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.

The police also summoned her husband and Azeez Fashola, aka, Naira Marley who were at the party.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has denied claims that Funke is its brand ambassador.

Until her arrest, the actress had been the ‘face’ of the Dettol Nigeria/NCDC campaigns for personal hygiene and social distancing sensitisation against the pandemic.

According to Premium Times, the NCDC said on its verified Twitter account @NCDCgov yesterday that the agency had no connection with the actress as a ‘brand ambassador’.

“As an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, NCDC has not engaged brand ambassadors as part of our response to COVID-19. We continue to emphasise that all Nigerians maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID.”

Meanwhile too, Dettol Nigeria, which contracted Funkẹ as their brand ambassador, condemned the actress’ misconduct.

“We have been made aware through social media that Funke Akindele recently, acting in her personal capacity, had a celebration which is against the caution to the public on social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The NCDC partnered with Dettol on a public service message to educate our communities about preventive measures against COVID-19. Funke is not a brand ambassador of the NCDC,” it wrote.

The company frowned at the breach of order regarding COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a responsible organisation and brand, Dettol does not condone any breach of the guidelines on COVID-19,” it added.

The company did not, however, state if it would take any action on its partnership with the actress.

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