The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has denied claims that Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, is its brand ambassador.
This is coming on the heels of Akindele’s arrest for violating the government-ordered lockdown and ban on large gatherings after she hosted a celebrity-studded house party in honour of her husband, JJC Skills, on Saturday.
Though the actress on Sunday apologised for the action, she was arrested at her residence in Amen Estate off the Lekki-Epe Expressway and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
The police have also summoned her husband and Naira Marley who were at the party.
Until her arrest, the actress had been the ‘face’ of the DettolNigeria/NCDC campaigns for personal hygiene and social distancing sensitisation against the pandemic.
In reaction, the NCDC said on its verified Twitter account on Sunday that the agency had no connection with the actress as a ‘brand ambassador’.
“As an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, NCDC has not engaged brand ambassadors as part of our response to COVID-19. We continue to emphasise that all Nigerians maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID,” it wrote
Meanwhile, DettolNigeria, which contracted Funkẹ as their brand ambassador, has condemned the actress’ misconduct.
“We have been made aware through social media that Funke Akindele recently, acting in her personal capacity, had a celebration which is against the caution to the public on social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
“The NCDC partnered with Dettol on a public service message to educate our communities about preventive measures against COVID-19. Funke is not a brand ambassador of the NCDC.
The company frowned at the breach of order regarding COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a responsible organisation and brand, Dettol does not condone any breach of the guidelines on COVID-19.”
The company did not, however, state if it would take any action on its partnership with the actress.
The Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) prescribes a jail term of one month or N100,000 fine or both for persons found guilty of hosting gatherings or flouting the lockdown order.
“Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security agencies shall have power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least forty-eight (48) hours.
“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of one Hundred Thousand Nara fine (N100,000.00) or one (1) month imprisonment or three (3) months Community service,” it reads in part.