Lagos State Government yesterday said Nollywood actress Funke Akindele her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello have been pardoned for their breach of COVID-19 protocol. The state ministry of justice commissioner Moyosore Onigbanjo in a statement said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also approved the release of 56 inmates from various correctional centres and granted state pardon to Funke and her husband who are both noncustodial convicts for offences related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
Onigbanjo said Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The couple in April was convicted and sentenced to 14-day community service.
The chief magistrates’ court sitting in Ogba sentenced the couple after they pleaded guilty to a one-count charge preferred against them by the state government when they hosted a birthday party at their residence at 9 Gbada mosi Close, Amen Estate, Abijo, Lekki, Lagos. Funke and AbdulRasheed were brought to the court by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Yaba led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the investigation, DCP Yetunde Longe. Onigbanjo during the court hearing said the birthday party held by the couple was attended by about 20 persons contrary to the social distancing directive contained in the regulations issued by the governor of Lagos State pursuant to the Infectious Diseases Act.
The commissioner, however, said their pardon and release of the 56 inmates was recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of the offense, old age and ill-health among other parameters. The attorney-general enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime.