A former Lagos governorship candidate, Babatunde Gbadamosi, has escaped punishment after he was arraigned for violating the state’s stay-at-home order.
Lagos has been on lockdown since March 30, 2020 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus which has already infected 130 people in the state.
However, Gbadamosi was last weekend captured on camera in attendance at a crowded 43rd birthday party for AbdulRasheed Bello, popularly called JJC Skillz, the husband of famous movie star, Funke Akindele-Bello.
The couple pleaded guilty before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court, Ogba on Monday, April 6, and were sentenced to 14 days of community service, and a fine of N100,000 each.
However, when Gbadamosi made an appearance on Wednesday, April 8, alongside his wife, Folashade, and one other defendant who attended the party, the government announced that it was withdrawing the charges, four counts in total, filed against them.
The charges were withdrawn on the condition that the politician and his wife tender a formal apology to state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to solidify the remorsefulness shown by them.
They also have to commit to a written undertaking that they will continue to comply with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari and the state’s governor; and also isolate themselves for 14 days to protect other members of the public from any likely danger they could have been exposed to at the party.
In a now-deleted video he posted online a day after the party, Gbadamosi said he visited the Bellos with his wife to celebrate with the family alone.
However, he said a celebrity later arrived with a crowd which led to the violation of the state’s order that no more than 20 people appear in a social gathering.
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“At that point, I think perhaps we should have left. I consider that a lapse of judgement on my part and I apologise for it,” he said.
The celebrity in question is Azeez Fashola, popularly called Naira Marley, who also had charges against him withdrawn on Wednesday under the same three conditions.
The infamous party took place at Amen Estate in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Funke Akindele and Gbadamosi have both insisted that everyone present at the party had been residing in the estate since the lockdown started.
Videos of the party were posted online by the actress’ husband, attracting outrage from the Nigerian public.
Many people criticised the actress for being irresponsible especially because she had taken part in an awareness video for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) urging Nigerians to adhere to all instructions from authorities to combat the spread of coronavirus.
As part of the court’s mandated community service, Funke and JJC Skillz are to each visit 10 public places to educate people on the consequences of not complying with directives on coronavirus.
Three people have died from coronavirus infection in Lagos, and four other people have died in other parts of the country. A total of 254 cases have been recorded in 16 states and the FCT, as of April 7.
44 people have made full recoveries and been discharged.