Court dismisses suit challenging Funke Akindele, husband’s COVID 19 conviction

Funke Akindele & husband JJC Skillz

The Ikoyi Federal High Court has dismissed a suit seeking to set aside the conviction of a Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, better known as JJC Skillz, and 236 others convicted for violating the state’s lockdown and social distancing regulations against COVID-19 spread in 2020.

The presiding judge, Justice Akintayo Aluko, threw out the suit after holding that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action and was also incompetent.

Funke, JJC Skillz and 236 others were convicted on April 6, 2020 at the Ogba Magistrate Court for organising and attending a crowded birthday party a few days before, contrary to the Lagos State social distancing order.

At the hearing, presided over by Justice Aluko, in 2020, Olukoya Ogungbeje, who represented the actress and others, challenged the constitutionality of the Lagos State Infectious Diseases Regulations, 2020 which was applied in the conviction and, hitherto, used in the sentencing of the Jenifa’s Diary star, rapper husband, and 236 others.

Other respondents to the suit included the Lagos State Government, Attorney-General of Lagos State, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and Inspector-General of Police.

The applicants also prayed the court to, among others, order the respondents to tender a joint public apology to all persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced in three widely read newspapers.

However, an objection dated July 10, 2020, was filed by the Lagos State Government and the attorney-general through their counsel, Haroun Adebayo.

The counsel argued that the governor could make regulations in place of the President, in pursuant of Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, 2004. He contended that the regulations were made for public good, safety, and protection which override that of the applicants.

In his judgment dated June 2, 2022, Justice Aluko observed that the governor made the regulations under the Lagos State Public Health Law, 2015, and particularly, Section 8 of the Quarantine Act which grants the governor power to make regulations not made by the president in Section 4 of the Act.

Funke Akindele and JJC got married in August 2016.

They welcomed their twins in December 2018.