Nollywood star Funke Akindele is arrested for throwing a lavish birthday party for her husband amid strict Covid-19 lockdown – despite fronting a ‘stay at home’ campaign in Nigeria
Funke Akindele and husband Abdul Rasheed Bello hosted party during lockdown
Gathering in Lagos, Nigeria, saw groups of party guests sitting close together
Akindele fronted Nigeria’s ‘Stay Home’ campaign on respecting social distancing
Couple arrested and in court today the pair pleaded guilty and were fined .
A Nigerian actress has been arrested and fined after hosting a birthday party for her husband during a strict coronavirus lockdown in the country.
Funke Akindele and her spouse, Abdul Rasheed Bello, held the gathering despite the star fronting Nigeria’s ‘Stay Home’ campaign to encourage people to respect the social distancing guidelines.
The Nollywood comedy star faced a backlash after her husband, also known as JJC Skillz, posted a video of the party on his Instagram feed on Saturday.
It caused outrage among Nigerians who said her actions violated movement restrictions put in place by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the capital, Lagos – where gatherings of more than 25 people have been banned.
Footage posted on social media by Bello, showed a crowded room with guests sitting close together on sofas and other standing in groups.
As he panned around the room and introduced the party-goers, some were pouring drinks and loud music could be heard in the background.
His wife could be seen joining in and dancing at two points in the near two-minute clip.
Those seen in the video include singer Naira Marley and fellow actress Eniola Badmus. Some on social media suggested they could have been living with Akindele and her husband.
The actress was accused of hypocrisy as she was one of many celebrities who advised people to stay at home in a campaign to raise awareness about hygiene and social distancing.
The couple were arrested and appeared in court today on charges connected with breaking the Lagos State Infectious Disease 2020 regulation.
Both Akindele and Bello pleaded guilty, were fined , and ordered to do 14 days of community service to educate the public on the dangers of not complying with the government guidelines, the BBC reports.
Police said the arrest was made after they saw the video of the birthday party which had a ‘large number’ of people violating the state government’s restriction orders.
It is not clear the exact number of guests at the gathering.
Akindele posted a video on her own social media page to apologise, claiming most of those who attended the party were members of her production crew who had been in self-quarantine at her studio while working on an upcoming
She added that no one had travelled from their homes to attend the party.
Akindele said in the clip: ‘I am sorry if I misled you with the video, I appreciate your concerns and I promise to practice what we preach.’
Nigerian authorities imposed a 14-day lockdown last month and banned social and public gatherings for more than 20 people in three Nigerian cities to slow the spread of coronavirus.
So far Nigeria has recorded more than 200 cases and five deaths from the virus, official figures state.