Policemen in Lagos on April 8, 2020 prevented journalists from entering the premises of a Magistrate’s Court in Ogba, Lagos, to cover the trial of a popular Nigerian musician, Fashola Azeez, aka Naira Marley, who was charged before the court for allegedly violating the Coronavirus lockdown ordered by the Lagos State Government.
The State Government charged the musician before the Magistrate Court for attending a birthday party, organised by Nollywood actress, Ms Funke Akindele, for her husband, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Bello, in violation of the social distancing directive and restriction on movements to check the spread of the Coronavirus.
Ms Akindele and her husband, Mr. Bello, had earlier been arraigned in court on April 6 and they both pleaded guilty to the charges. They were sentenced to 14 days of community service.
However, journalists were locked out of the court on April 8, when the musician was to be arraigned in court. A policeman wearing the name tag of Suumonu Kazeem reportedly ordered the gates of the court premises shut against journalists, saying he was acting on “an order from above”.
Journalists were therefore unable to gain access to the court premises and cover the proceedings.