Funke Akindele

Court strikes out suit challenging Funke Akindele, others’ COVID-19 convictions

A suit seeking to have the convictions of popular actress Funke Akindele, alias Jenifa, her husband Abdulrasheed Bello, and 236 others, who were all prosecuted for violating the state’s 2020 lockdown and social distancing order to stop the spread of COVID-19, dismissed by the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The suit, according to Justice Akintayo Aluko, lacked a reasonable cause of action and was also incompetent.

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The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Ogba convicted Funke Akindele and her husband on April 6, 2020, days after they held a crowded house birthday party in violation of Lagos State’s social distancing order.

However, Olukoya Ogungbeje, a Lagos-based lawyer, went to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020, under which the residents were found guilty and sentenced.Funke Akindele

Funke Akindele convicted in 2020

The Lagos State Government, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, the Commissioner of Police of Lagos State, and the Inspector-General of Police are the joint respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/588/2020.

Mr. Ogungbeje also requested, among other things, a court order requiring the Respondents to jointly and severally apologize for their arrest in three widely circulated newspapers. arraignment, trial, conviction, and sentence of those who have been harmed.

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However, the Lagos State Government and the Attorney General, through their counsel, Adebayo Haroun, a Deputy Director of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, opposed him.

On July 10, 2020, the 1st and 2nd Respondents filed a notice of preliminary objection to the suit.

They claim that Section 8 of the Quarantine Act of 2004 empowers the governor to make regulations in cases where the President of Nigeria has not done so.

They argued that the Regulation was enacted for the public’s safety, good, and protection, which are much larger and more important than the safety, good, and protection of an individual like the Applicant.

The court agreed with the government in part in his judgment, which was delivered on June 2, 2022.

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The regulations stated in their preamble that the governor made the regulations pursuant to the powers conferred on him by the Lagos State Public Health Law of Lagos State, 2015, and in particular section 8 of the Quarantine Act, and that Section 8 provides that if regulations under section 4 of the Act were not made by the President, the governor in respect of his state may exercise the power to make such regulations.

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“This means that the governor’s regulations, which were issued on March 27, 2020, are valid under section 8 of the Quarantine Act because they were issued at a time when the president had not issued his own regulations.” As a result, the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations, 2020 are a subsidiary legislation validly enacted under section 8 of the Quarantine Act. In contrast to the Applicant’s argument, section 17 of the Regulations actually created a number of offenses, including failure to comply with a restriction order, prohibition, or doing anything that is contrary to the Regulations’ provisions. “It is worth noting that section 5 of the Quarantine Act provides for penalties or punishment against any person who contravenes provisions of the regulations made under the Act,” says section 17 (2) of the Regulations.

The judge praised Mr. Ogungbeje for “seeking to protect citizens’ rights from violations,” but noted that the lawsuit had “no legal support.”

“In sum, I believe this lawsuit has revealed no reasonable cause of action against the Respondents.”

“The instant suit is incompetent, and the court lacks the authority to rule on it.”

As a result, this lawsuit is dismissed….

What is the court saying about Funke Akindele and others’ convictions? 

 

The court says the conviction of Funke Akindele and others is valid.

 

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