On Saturday, April 2, Nollywood star actress and producer, Funke Akindele landed herself in trouble with the authorities after what many have described as a deliberate attempt to flaunt her influence against government regulations on the ravaging novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Funke who is the face of a national campaign on social distancing during the coronavirus lockdown was arrested — for throwing a wild party packed with revelers. She had hosted a group of friends to mark her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, popularly known as JJC Skillz’s 43rd birthday in the confines of her home in Amen Estate, Lagos. That soiree was packed with guests including Lagos politician Babatunde Gbadamosi, controversial singer Naira Marley, and fleshy actress Eniola Badmus, among others, dancing and drinking in close proximity.
Funke, 42, however sparked outrage when the video of the wild party surfaced online and went viral. The apparent hypocrisy sparked numerous online memes, with videos of her PSA splashed together with the packed party. The groundswell of calls for their arrest was overwhelming to the extent that Funke’s goodwill paled into insignificance. The couple was arrested on Sunday and the following day, Monday, arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court in Ogba, Lagos on a one-count charge of holding a party at their residence with over 20 persons in attendance contrary to the social distancing directives made in pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 and therefore committed an offence under Section 58 of the Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State 2015. Both the actress and her husband pleaded guilty to hosting the party despite the coronavirus lockdown an act, which could lead to the spread of Covid-19. They were sentenced to 14 days of community service and fined N100,000 each by the magistrate court. They were also both ordered to make a tour to educate the public on the consequences of non-compliance of the restriction order.
Spotlight gathered that Funke’s ordeal might have a root in her recent refusal to honour her late father even in death. Some of those close to her believe her present crisis might be a spin-off of dishonouring her late father, Very Revd. Godwin Olusoji Akindele, whose funeral she allegedly shunned. Funke had announced the death of her father back in December 2019. But many were stunned when during the final rites on Friday, January 17, 2020 in Ikorodu, Lagos, Funke and her siblings were conspicuously absent to pay their dad the deserved last respect. They were also absent at the Service of Songs the previous day. Their non-attendance was said to have angered the Presiding Bishop, Rt. Rev. S.O Osundina, the Bishop of Ikorodu Diocese, Methodist Church Nigeria, and aborted the rest of the burial programme until Funke and her siblings do the needful.
It was learnt that Funke deliberately left Nigeria few days to the funeral of her dad for Dubai, UAE and returned only a week later. Why Funke and her siblings chose to dishonour their father remains unclear but this action, some claim, could have triggered the present punishment and likely chain reactions from the attendant curse that could follow later for disrespecting one’s parents, especially their funerals. Of course, some could dismiss this as a mere myth but not a few believe the coincidence in Funke’s error is too real to be ignored.