By Mukwuzi Joseph
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has granted state pardon to popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, alias Jenifa, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, who were convicted and sentenced to community service for holding a crowded house birthday party in April in breach of government’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.
A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, 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 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of the offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.
The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime.
The eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.
Funke and her husband were arrested for organising a birthday party in their Amen estate residence on Saturday, April 5th despite the restriction of movement order and social distance order in the state.
They were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate court in Ogba on April 6 for breaching the Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which 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 court fined them and also ordered them to do 14 days of community service. The court also ordered them to visit 10 important public places within Lagos state to educate the public on the consequences of not complying with restriction orders imposed by the government.