A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed July 10 to hear a suit challenging the legality of the conviction of popular actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, and 236 others.
A Lagos-based Lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, had gone to court seeking a declaration that the law upon which Akindele and others were convicted was inconsistent with the 1999 constitution.
It would be recalled that Akindele, Bello and others were arrested, tried and convicted for violating the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.
Akindele is a popular Nigerian actress who rose to prominence for her series, Jenifa’s Diary, broadcast on national television.
She was said to have hosted a birthday party in her Lagos residence to celebrate her husband’s birthday, an act viewed as a violation of the state government’s regulation on infectious diseases prevention.
According to Ogungbeje, the arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction and sentencing of Akindele and others lacks legal backing.
He said the offence for which they were convicted was unknown to the law and could not be grounds for criminal liability.
“I have a duty to protect and defend the sanctity of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any contravention or infraction,” the counsel said.
Citing an Appeal Court decision in 2016 involving Faith Okafor vs Lagos State and another, Ogungbeje submitted that a violation of such regulation could not result in criminal liability.