Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele, Speaks Out Following Her Arrest Amid Lagos Lockdown
The Nigerian actress says that the experience has been a 'learning curve' for her.
Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele, has spoken out for the first time since she and her husband as well as rappers JJC Skillz and Naira Marley were all arrested for violating the state's lockdown order. Th arrest came after Akindele threw a party for husband's birthday at their Lagos home.
This past Sunday, the actress took to social media and posted a video message where she thanked her fans for their support and spoke about having learnt a great deal from the incident. "Thank you for all the love, support, feedback and calls, I really appreciate. These past few weeks has been a learning curve but we must keep moving forward," Akindele said and went on to add, "My dear friends, coronavirus is real. We all must continue to collaborate with the Lagos state government and the federal government by staying at home."
Lagos now has 16 confirmed coronavirus deaths after two patients passed away on Monday. Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, continues to urge Nigerians to remain vigilant and adhere to social distancing measures under the current lockdown.
The Governor of Borno, Babagana Umara Zulum, has recently declared a lockdown in the state following the confirmations of its first death from coronavirus. Zulum has ordered Nigerians living in Borno to remain in their homes and abide by the mandatory curfew for a period of 14 days, according to News24.
Nigeria has confirmed 627 cases of coronavirus thus far.
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Star Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, rapper JJC Skillz, were arrested on Monday after hosting a party at their home which violated Lagos' coronavirus lockdown order.
The actress came under fire over the weekend, when footage of a party she threw for her husband's birthday began circulating on social media. The clips showed several people, including fellow Nollywood actress Eniola Badmus and Nigerian rapper Naira Marley, gathered inside of Akindele's Lagos home. According to a report from Pulse Nigeria, Marley also turned himself in on Monday for attending the function and will be arraigned.
Akindele had previously appeared in a "Stay At Home" video campaign to raise awareness about hygiene and safety protocols to help combat the outbreak. This "hypocrisy" drew angry responses from Nigerians on Twitter, with many calling the action harmful and irresponsible.
Akindele later took to social media on Sunday to apologize for the party, claiming that all of the people attending the party had been already living in the house before the lockdown was put in place. "Nobody came from their houses to party with us," said the actress. "I am sorry if I misled you with the video, I appreciate your concerns and I promise to practice what we preach."
"I promise to always support the government in creating more awareness to eradicate this pandemic," she added.
She and her husband plead guilty to charges connected to breaking the Lagos State Infectious Disease 2020 regulation under the Public Health Law, according to CNN. They have not yet been sentenced.
Akindele is one of the country's biggest films stars, she rose to fame in the 2000s after starring in the best-selling comedy Jenifa. She's starred in a string of Nollywood movies and series since, including The Return of Jenifa and Chief Daddy.
Nigeria's largest city is currently under a 14-day lockdown. The country has reported overt 200 cases, most of which have occurred in Lagos. The death toll in Nigeria reached five over the weekend.
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