... State Demands Formal Letter of Apology
Lagos State Government, on Wednesday, said it has withdrawn the charges against a former governorship candidate, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi and Mr. Azeez Fashola, a musician popularly known as Naira Marley.
The duo was arraigned, yesterday, before a Magistrate Court, Ogba for attending a birthday party organised by celebrity couple, Mrs. Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband, Mr. AbdulRashed Bello, at Amen Estate, Ibeju-Lekki on April 4, 2020, despite the prohibition of more than 25 persons at any gathering as well as the social distancing directive of the government.
Speaking on the case, Lagos State Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), through the Director, Public Prosecution (DPP) Yhaqub Oshoala, said the remorse shown by the defendants was considered in withdrawing the charges against them.
Onigbanjo said the defendants are, however, required to fulfill three conditions, which include writing a formal letter of apology to the State government, giving an undertaken to comply with the directive to stay-at-home and proceeding on 14-day isolation as a step towards prevention of the spread of Coronavirus.
He maintained that since some attendees of the party travelled from countries with cases of COVID-19, there is a need for isolation to ascertain the status of the two men.
In her pronouncement, Magistrate Yetunde Aje-Afunwa acknowledged the request of the prosecutor for the withdrawal of charges against the defendants, noting that the State government’s conditions for the withdrawal must be accepted and complied with by the defendants.
“I wish to state that the procedure for the withdrawal of a criminal charge is that before the charge is withdrawn, the conditions must be met or be seen to be met by the defendants”, she said.
Magistrate Aje-Afunwa, however, adjourned the continuation of the court proceedings to Thursday, 9th of April at noon.
Recall that celebrity couple, Funke Akindele-Bello and AbdulRashed Bello had earlier been sentenced to 14 days community service by the Lagos State Magistrate Court in Ogba for hosting a birthday which had more than 20 people in attendance at their Lagos residence in Amen Estate, Ibeju-Lekki thereby contravening the directives of the State Government.