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Covid-19 in Nigeria

Police Arrested Funke Akindele, NCDC Removes Her As Ambassador over birthday party during Covid-19 lockdown

Valentine Chinyem



Funke Akindele, Nollywood actress popularly known for her television series, Jenifa’s Diary, has been arrested by the Lagos state police command for hosting a house party during the lockdown order in the state.

She was arrested by the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti (SCID), Yaba on Sunday evening.

This was made known by the Lagos State Police Spokesman, Bala Elkana on Sunday.

Despite apologising in a video which was shared on her Twitter handle, the police spokesman said she was arrested for “violating restriction orders in the state”.

Funke Akindele and her husband Abdulrasheed Bello, who is said to be on the run hosted a party on Saturday with various movie and music stars in attendance to celebrate his birthday.

“Attention of Lagos State Police Command was drawn to a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband,” the statement read.

“Police detectives from the State CID Yaba were promptly drafted to the location. Funke Akindele was arrested.”

The police PRO said the command has also intensified efforts to arrest Bello and Naira Marley.

“Investigation is ongoing, efforts are intensified to arrest the remaining persons in the video, among whom are Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley and Abdul Rasheed Bello a.k.a. JJC Skillz,” the statement added.

“They are in their best interests urged to report at the State CID Yaba on Monday 6th April, 2020 or risk being declared wanted.”

In attendance were the likes of Naira Marley, Eniola Badmus among others.

Following the incident and the outrage it gathered on social media, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, and Dettol, who had previously used the actress as its ambassador, in an advertisement to sensitize the public on Covid-19 pandemic and how to keep themselves safe, says it has parted ways with actress, as they pull down advert from its website.

Issuing a statement on behalf of the NCDC, Dettol via its Twitter handle disowned the actress.

It reads, ”We have been made aware through social media that Funke Akindele recently, acting in her personal capacity, had a celebration which is against the caution to the public on social distancing during the covid-19 pandemic.

The NCDC partnered with Dettol on a public service message to educate our communities about preventive measures against COVID-19. Funke is not a brand ambassador of the NCDC.

As a responsible organization and brand Dettol does not condone any breach of the guidelines on Covid-19. As an organization we are concerned at the turn of events.

We will continue to support NCDC and the Nigerian govt to fight COVID-19,” the tweet reads.