Nigeria: Nollywood star arraigned for breaching coronavirus rules

Funke Akindele was arrested for throwing a birthday party during the lockdown in Lagos, police say.

    Akindele's party sparked anger online after she appeared in advertisements calling on Nigerians to observe social distancing [Ameyaw Debrah/CC]
    Akindele's party sparked anger online after she appeared in advertisements calling on Nigerians to observe social distancing [Ameyaw Debrah/CC]

    A popular Nigerian actress has been arraigned in court for throwing a birthday party during a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country's commercial capital, Lagos.

    Funke Akindele, a Nollywood film star popularly known as Jenifa, and her husband pleaded guilty in court and were each fined 100,000 naira ($260).

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    The court also sentenced them to 14 days of community service.

    It ruled that the couple "shall visit 10 important public places within Lagos State to educate the public on the consequences of non-compliance with the restriction order."

    They were accused of hosting guests at Saturday's bash for her husband in their upscale residence in Lekki.

    Other alleged guests at the party, including well-known singer Naira Marley, have been told to report to the police criminal investigation department for questioning, Lagos state police spokesman Bala Elkana said on Monday.

    Akindele's actions sparked angry reaction online from her fans after she earlier appeared in advertisements calling on Nigerians to observe social-distancing measures. 

    The actress issued an apology on her Instagram page on Sunday. 

    "I am sorry if I have misled you. I appreciate your concerns and I promise to always practice what I preach," she said. "I promise to always support the government in creating more awareness to eradicate this pandemic."

    SOURCE: AFP news agency