Nigerian actress Funke Akindele-Bello has been arrested after hosting a birthday party for her husband during a lockdown in the country – despite fronting a ‘Stay Home’ campaign.
The Nollywood comedy star faced backlash after her husband posted a video of the party on his Instagram live feed on Saturday.
News about the party caused outrage among Nigerians who said her actions violated movement restrictions put in place by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the city.
The actress was also called out for hypocrisy as she was one of many celebrities who advised people to stay at home in a campaign by Dettol Nigeria to raise awareness about proper hygiene and social distancing.
The couple were arrested and appeared in court on Monday on charges connected with breaking the Lagos State Infectious Disease 2020 regulation under the Public Health Law. The couple pleaded guilty and were fined and handed a 14-day community service sentence.
Nigerian authorities imposed a 14-day lockdown and banned social and public gatherings for more than 20 people in three Nigerian cities to slow the spread of coronavirus last month.
The West African nation, the most populous in Africa, has recorded more than 200 cases and five people have died so far, according to Nigeria’s Center for Disease and Control.
Akindele-Bello took to her Instagram page to apologize after the video surfaced and explain that most of those who attended the party were members of her production crew who had been in self-quarantine at her studio while working on an upcoming film.
She added that no one had traveled from their homes to attend the party.
“I am sorry if I misled you with the video, I appreciate your concerns and I promise to practice what we preach…,” Akindele-Bello said.