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Lockdown: Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele begs for forgiveness



UPDATE: Funke Akindele arrives court, awaits trial over lockdown violation
Funke Akindele

Popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, also known as Jenifa, has apologised for hosting a celebrity-studded birthday party despite the government’s COVID-19 lockdown directives.

The actress said Naira Marley had been at her residence before the lockdown was announced.

She also pledged to support the Nigerian government in creating more awareness in eradicating the coronavirus pandemic.

Akindele, also known as Jenifa, stated this in a video released on her Social Media platforms a few hours before her arrest on Sunday.

The actress was arrested by the officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Command, for hosting a house party that contravened the lockdown order of the government.

She was taken from her residence in Amen Estate off the Lekki-Epe Expressway to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.

In the video, Akindele apologised to her fans for not leading by example amid the COVID-19 stay-at-home order of the government.

She said, “I have seen all the messages on Social Media. I will not intentionally mislead people.

“It was my husband’s birthday (on Saturday). Both of us run a studio which is located in Amen Estate where we live.

“When the pandemic started, we stopped all productions including our new projects.

“But before the lockdown was announced by our President, some youths have been in the boot camp here in Amen Estate – majority of the youths were those you saw in the video.

“Naira Marley came in here before the lockdown. And when the lockdown was announced, he said he would love to stay back, saying he loves this environment.

“I said okay fine. Then my husband’s birthday came up. And we all came together as a family.

“Everybody in that video had been in Amen Estate some months before, weeks before and days before the lockdown. Nobody came from their houses to party with us.

“I am sorry if I have misled you. I appreciate your concerns and I promise to always practice what I preach.

“I promise to always support the government in creating more awareness to eradicate this pandemic.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, shortly after Akindele’s arrest, said the actress was not its brand ambassador.

The actress had appeared in adverts for the NCDC and Dettol, calling on Nigerians to observe social distancing and good hygiene practice as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.