- A Nigerian lawyer has taken to social media to explain in detail why Funke Akindele and her husband's conviction can't stand
- Identified as Inibehe Effiong, he stated that their conviction is unconstitutional
- According to him, there is no provision under the Public Health Law or Infectious Disease Regulations that makes gathering with more than twenty persons a criminal offence
As the controversy surrounding actress Funke Akindele and her husband JJC's arrest and conviction continues to brew, many people have taken to social media to either condemn or support the Lagos state's decision to penalize the celebrity couple.
A Nigerian lawyer identified as Inibehe Effiong, recently took to the Facebook platform to give a detailed analysis as to why the conviction of the actress and her husband is heavily flawed and unconstitutional.
In his words: "Since the Quarantine Act and the Public Health Law of Lagos State specifically limit offences to contravention of regulations made by the governor, it is outright illegality to charge Funke Akindele and her husband for contravening a directive of the Governor (which is outside the regulations itself)."
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According to him, the provision made by the Public Health Law of Lagos does not codify any offence. It only empowers the governor to restrict or prohibit gathering.
He added that an act or omission is only a crime if it is so prescribed in a written law.
Effiong stated that by virtue of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, every person is guaranteed the fundamental right not to be convicted unless the offence is defined and the penalty is prescribed in a written law.
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He reiterated that the governor's social distancing directive that restricts gathering in Lagos state is not an Act of the National Assembly, or a law of the Lagos state House of Assembly, neither is it a subsidiary legislation or an instrument under the provisions of the law.
The couple was charged under Section 58 of the Public Health Law of Lagos state which reads as follows:
"For any contravention of the provisions of this law or any regulation made under this Law for which no other penalty is provided, the offender commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) or to any non-custodial sentence and if a corporate body, to a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00)."
Effiong stated that the implication of the expression "Or" as used in Section 58 is that the court can either impose a fine or a non-custodial sentence; the trial court cannot impose both.
The lawyer concluded that the punishment imposed on the actress and her husband by the trial court is clearly overreaching and illegal and cannot stand in law.
See post below:
Meanwhile, comedian and actor, AY, has taken to social media to plead with Nigerians trolling him online. Recall that he earlier took to the micro-blogging platform to slam Nigerians for calling out Funke Akindele over her house party.
Well, it appears the Merry Men star couldn't take the heat that followed his tweet and has once again taken to the platform to plead with Nigerians to stop the trolling.
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