– As plans to grant her state pardon uncovered
Nigerian actress, Funke Akindele-Bello, popularly known as Jenifa, maybe facing hard times as most of her clients are presently dropping their endorsement and ambassadorship deals with her, while it can be recalled that the Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC), had also relieved her of their ambassadorship post and recently appointed another actress, Toyin Abraham in her replacement.
Recall that Akindele-Bello was sentenced to two weeks (14 days) community service, by a Lagos Magistrate Court for holding a birthday party and also flouting the social distancing order.
However, a reliable source close to her has revealed that about three to four companies have been writing to relieve her of their ambassadorship deal.
Also, clients of the agencies responsible for the advertisements on some of the programs she anchors, have also urged them to relieve her of these advert programs, and these agencies have also been on her neck.
Meanwhile, information also reaching Nigeria Standard, revealed that Akindele-Bello is working tirelessly towards having her case pardoned by the Lagos State Government, as she has been meeting with the Who Is Who within the State and the Stalwarts of the All Progressive Congress (APC), on how they can help her relate with the Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu.
However, plans to pardon Funke Akindele has been uncovered as the Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Oluwa Adegboruwa, has been said to have reached out to Governor Sanwo-olu, towards granting her and the husband state pardon.
According to Adegboruwa, he said, “For the Akindeles, I was moved by compassion for them. No doubt, it was a wrong exercise of discretion on their part to violate the guidelines of WHO, the directives of the President and the Governor, on social distancing, given the seriousness of the COVID 19 pandemic. And I think this is where a lot of people mistook my objection on the issue of restriction of movement. I fully support the measures taken by the government to contain the pandemic, as they are all meant to safeguard our lives. So, in that regard I do not endorse the idea of people gathering to celebrate birthday parties at this time. Indeed, I closed my office as far back as March 23, when I stopped seeing clients physically and I cancelled all our meetings, before we finally closed down on March 27.
“So, before the Akindeles were arrested, they made a video apologizing for their indiscretion, which I think was genuine. At that point, I believe what the government should have done was to approach them to supply the details of all those who attended the birthday party in order to conduct tests for them and then isolate them, depending on the outcome of the test. We should not always see law as punitive alone but also corrective and reformative. I say this because there were other people who celebrated birthdays in Lagos and even abroad, who also breached the social distancing rule and nothing has happened to them. So, going ahead with the trial of the Akindeles and their subsequent conviction was like an overkill. So, I felt a sense of compassion for them which was what informed my appeal, given that herself and her husband could have explored the same option as we did in our case”.