Olukoya Ogungbeje, lawyer and activist said Lagos State government has cringed and threw in the towel seeing that the legal process which convicted and sentenced Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband in April was flawed.
His conviction on the loophole of the process is based on the fact that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice announced on Friday that the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had granted state pardon to Akindele and her husband, as well as 56 inmates from various correctional centres in the state.
Ogungbeje said the move was preemptive of his lawsuit coming up for hearing on October 13.
He said, “They know the case we filed is coming up on Tuesday, so the government quickly pardoned them today (Friday). They have agreed with us after all, that the process was flawed. They had seen the handwriting on the wall”.
The actress, alongside her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, had been convicted and sentenced to community service in April for holding a crowded house birthday party in breach of the government’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Though the couple had served their punishment but Ogungbeje had gone to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Lagos State law pursuant to which the couple and other residents arrested for flouting COVID-19 guidelines were convicted and sentenced.
He stated further that the pardon and its weakness validates that the people must continue to hold government accountable.
He also averred that that won’t stop them from continuing their case as other people are involved.
The lawyer came to the limelight when he stood for Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband.
He prays the court, in the suit, to annul the Lagos State law and the conviction of everyone tried under the law.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, intimated that the governor acted based on the advice of the state’s Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.