A lawyer and activist, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has said the state pardon granted to actress, Funke Akindele, aka Jenifa, will not stop him from pressing on with the lawsuit he filed against the Lagos State Government.
Akindele, 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, 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.
The lawyer is, in the suit, praying the court to invalidate the Lagos State law and nullify the conviction of everyone tried under the law.
However, 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.
The statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, said the governor acted based on the advice of the state’s Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
But reacting to the development, Ogungbeje, insisted to Saturday Beats that 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.
“It shows that we must continue to hold government accountable but that doesn’t stop us from continuing our case because other people are involved. This will not stop our case, which has been fixed for Tuesday.”