Suit Challenging Funke Akindele, Others’ Conviction Adjourned

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday failed to hear a suit challenging the legality of the conviction of Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, and 236 others.

A Lagos-based Lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, had approached the court seeking a declaration that the law upon which Funke and others were convicted was inconsistent with the 1999 constitution.

Funke and the others were arrested, tried and convicted for violating the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.

The actress had 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 disease prevention.

The case challenging the convictions, which was earlier slated for hearing on Friday before Justice Maureen Onyetenu, could not proceed following applications before the court.

When the case was called, a senior counsel from the office of Attorney General of Lagos State, Jonathan Ogunsanya, informed the court of a notice of preliminary objection challenging the suit.

The notice of preliminary objection was served on the plaintiff’s counsel, Fatai Adebanjo.

Mr Ogunsanya had also informed the court of a motion on notice seeking to regularise his processes before the court.

Consequently, Justice Onyetenu adjourned the case until July 21 for substantive hearing.

Mr Ogungbeje is asking the court to, inter alia, declare that “the purported arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction and sentencing of persons/Nigerian citizens under the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 for an alleged offence unknown to law and violation of same, which cannot be grounds for criminal liability is a nullity.”

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