LAGOS State government has withdrawn charges against entertainer Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley and former gubernatorial candidate Babatunde Gbadamosi for flouting the stay-at-home order and given them a stern warning instead.
Messrs Fashola and Gbadamosi had both attended Funke Akindele’s birthday party over the weekend, in defiance of the Lagos State government’s lockdown. Nollywood actress Ms Akindele and her husband Abdul Bello have been sentenced to do 14 days community service and fined N100,000 each after being found guilty of flouting the Lagos State Coronavirus Pandemic Prevention Law.
Anyone arrested and found guilty of flouting the law is liable to a fine of N100,000, one-month imprisonment or three months community service. Ms Akindele was charged with breaking the law and appeared before the Ogba Magistrate Court, where she and her husband were arraigned for throwing a house party at her residence in Amen Estate, Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos.
Lagos State authorities had said they would chase down and prosecute everyone who was at the party but today, there appears to have been a change of heart. Yhaqub Oshoala, the Lagos State director of public prosecutions, decided this morning to drop the charges against Naira Marley, Mr Gbadamosi and his wife Sade.
Mr Oshoala informed the court that he received a directive from the Lagos State attorney-general that in view of the remorseful disposition of the defendants, the state is willing to step down on the charges on three conditions. These include that the defendants write a formal apology to the governor, they give an undertaking to comply with all regulations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and they go into self-isolation for 14 days in order to protect others that they may come in contact with.
All the defendants accepted these conditions and Mr Oshoala, subsequently applied to withdraw the charges. he then requested that the conditions be furnished through the officer in charge of the legal department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
Delivering a bench ruling, the magistrate gave the defendants 24 hours to comply with the conditions. The case was consequently adjourned to April 9, for withdrawal or plea, as the case may be.
Defence lawyers Mr Akoni and Mr Adegboruwa on behalf of the defendants expressed their gratitude to the court, the Lagos State governor, the attorney-general and the police, for the peaceful and friendly proceedings. On Monday, when details of the party broke Mr Gbadamosi had published a Youtube video in which he apologised for his actions, calling it a lapse in judgement.