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l-r: Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Director, UBA Plc and Proprietress of Bridge House College, Mrs Foluke Abdulrasaq and Group Managing Director UBA, Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, during the premiere of REDTV’s new web series Our Best Friend’s Wedding in Lagos on Sunday

REDTV, a dynamic online lifestyle channel that puts the spotlight on Africa with a distinct global appeal, in conjunction with The Naked Convos has premiered a new web-series titled, ‘Our Best Friend’s wedding’.  REDTV is supported by the United Bank for Africa’s (UBA Plc)

The impressive gathering which held this past weekend, attracted a good number of A-list dignitaries and business leaders, from different industries across Nigeria  including: the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture,  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Group Managing Director, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka and players in the entertainment and film industries

Speaking at the premiere, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was visibly impressed with the quality of the movie spoke glowingly about the unrelenting support of UBA towards the growth of the creative industry in Nigeria, noting that UBA is no doubt one of the very few organisations that truly understands the far reaching impact the creative industry can add to Nigeria’s economy.

The minister applauded the high quality of the television series, attesting that Nigeria’s television production and creative industries have come of age with capabilities to contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic development. This, according to the minister is part of the objectives the recently signed pact between the Federal Ministry of Information and The Tony Elumelu Foundation hopes to achieve. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is founded by the Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu.

“I recall that before the MOU we signed with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we identified a plethora of problems in the Creative Industry ranging from  systemic failure, lack of monitoring of intellectual property and lack of capacity. Having said that, I am particularly delighted to tell you that after organisations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council came to the rescue of the creative industries, the story has now changed for good”, the minister said.

Reiterating why the MoU is important for Nigeria’s creative industries, he explained that the film industry, best known as Nollywood, is the most energetic in the world and has a total estimated value of over $500 million per annum. It also provides jobs for thousands of people but sadly, an estimated $200milion is lost to piracy annually because of the absence of formal, legal distribution systems.

Also speaking at the premiere, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA Plc and executive producer of the television series, Mrs. Bola Atta appreciated the critical interventions by the government in creating an enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive, whilst noting that the series, made by Nigerians in Nigeria is of world class standard. According to her, in just a few days of its release, the series garnered   over 130,000 views on the YouTube channel.  .

The movie, Our Best Friend’s Wedding is a romantic dramedy of a young man who panics and buys an engagement ring on a whim. He recruits his two female best friends to help go through a list of potential candidates and sets off a series of events that lead to a wedding.

The series stars Adebola ‘Illrymz’ Olowu, Oreka Godis, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Chris Attoh, Timi Charles-Fadipe, Unamka Marycolette, Yewande Lawal, Sarah Boulos and Theo Lawson.

REDTV is a digital online television network that features the very best of entertainment, news, design, travel, fashion, music, sports, comedy and much more. The channel is available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

BIG STORY

Rape: IGP Orders Probe Of Policemen Who Arrested D’Banj’s Accuser

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the probe of the policemen who allegedly arrested Seyitan Babatayo, the lady that accused musician Oladapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj of rape.

The IGP gave the order in a letter dated June 25, 2020, with reference number CZ:7050/IGP.SEC/ABJ/Vol. 132/978 signed on his behalf by his Principal Staff Officer, DCP Idowu Owohunwa.

The letter is titled, ‘Re: Petition Against Inspector Abraham, Supol Ugowe and the Entire Police Officers Team at Ikeja, Lagos Division of the Inspector General of Police’

The letter, which was addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Garki, read in part, “I forward forthwith a copy of a letter dated June 18, 2020, with its attachment received from Ojoge, Omileye and Partners on the above subject.

“I am to respectfully convey the directive of the Inspector-General of Police that you deal with.”

The PUNCH reports that the letter of the IG was the sequel to a petition written by Seyitan’s lawyer, Ojoge, Omileye and Partners, last week.

In the petition, it was alleged that policemen attached to the Intelligence Response Team arrested Seyitan on the directive of D’Banj and detained her for over 24 hours.

It was alleged that she was denied access to her lawyers, her phone was seized and she faced psychological torture in the hands of the policemen.

The petition read in part, “On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, our client was picked up alongside a friend, Favour, at her residence in Lagos by the officers of the Ikeja IGP IRT. The arrest was without any warrant and neither our client nor her friend, Favour, was informed of the reasons for their arrest.

“According to our client, she was told to write a statement denying ever meeting with Mr. Oyebanjo (D’Banj) and to also state that she lied against the person of Mr. Oyebanjo. In actual fact, our client was about to write the statement which she believed would be a basis for her release when the counsel came in and stopped her from writing such a statement.

“The counsel further informed the policemen that all actions to the alleged rape of our client in December 2018 by Mr. Oyebanjo have been transferred to the DIG FCID for a thorough investigation and that they need to stay the action.”

The counsel was said to have told the policemen to release his client and he would bring her back to the station whenever the need arose.

According to the petition, the policemen, however, argued that Seyitan had not yet spent 24 hours in custody and as such, they could continue to hold her.

After hours of pleading, the lawyer was said to have left the police station to return the next day.

The lawyer, Tommy Ojoge-Daniel, alleged that D’Banj’s Manager, Damien Okoroafor, was physically present at the police office the next day.

He said by Okoroafor’s instigation, the police refused to release Seyitan and threatened to approach a magistrate court to obtain a remand order to detain Seyitan for two weeks.

The petition read, “On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the counsel went to the station as early as 7 am with a formal application for bail which was received at the admin section of the station and presented to the officers in charge of the IGP IRT.

“The process for the bail had started when one Damien Okoroafor who we latterly knew to be the manager of Mr. Oyebanjo came in and started ordering the officers of the Ikeja IGP IRT around and this made the officers retrace their steps and inform our client that they will not release her on bail.

“They said they were in the process of obtaining a warrant from a magistrate to detain our client for 14 days. The formal bail application was thereafter confiscated by the officers of the IGP IRT and the counsel was forced to release the acknowledged copy of the bail application to the officers of the IGP at the most unimagined duress.”

He said Seyitan was forced to delete all social media posts she had made about D’Banj and also make a public statement absolving D’Banj of rape which she did to gain her freedom.

Seyitan had accused D’Banj of raping her in Glee Hotel, Lagos in December 2018.

The kokomaster, however, denied the allegation and demanded an apology and N100m from his accuser.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Reality TV Show BBNaija Season 5 Premieres July 19

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DSTV has announced July 19 as the official date for season five of the much anticipated Big Brother Naija Season 5.

This was announced on the official twitter handle of the reality TV show. The most anticipated season is here!!! 📣📣📣 Season 5 of the popular TV reality show in Africa, Big Brother Naija, will premiere Sunday, 19 July 2020!

Ebuka Uchendu also tweeted:

Earlier in May, the management of the reality show announced the opening for video submissions for the upcoming season 5 of the show.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Lavolta Stars Releases New Single ‘Wetin Dey Occur’

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Popular Afrocentric band, Lavolta Stars, has a new single out titled Wetin Dey Occur, which dropped on Friday, June 26, 2020.

According to the band leader, Kayode Awokoya, the new single was inspired by the need to soothe the world’s pain as a result of the novel coronavirus.

“Just like everyone else, we were heavily jolted by what befell the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. People dying, countries closing their borders and shutting down, economies collapsing, hunger, poverty, people going into isolation, and social distancing; we were virtually living worse than animals.

“The stars including our management and record label decided we do something to bring relief, hope, and succour to the world through music and the idea of our hit single, Wetin Dey Occur was born.

“Our single is a fusion of Afrobeat and Highlife, delivered in a melodious vibe to help soothe the pains the world is going through due to this very highly destructive pandemic. Just like we echoed in our song, Edumare press reset o (Meaning that God should press reset button over the pandemic).

Wetin Dey Occur, which simply translated What’s Going On, is available on music stores worldwide and available through this link (https://lavoltastars.fanlink.to/WetinDeyOccur).

The band was excited for the new release, posting on their social media handle, “Enjoy a snippet of our new single titled Wetin Dey Occur. It’s our little way of bringing hope to a world ravaged by COVID-19. Edumare Press Reset.

“These are our guys, Lavolta Stars, on another level. It’s massive, a chart breaker, game changer!”

Awokoya, who was full of appreciation to the management and record label, stated that the support was massive to the success of the production.

“Our record label has been super supportive, caring, and committed to our career and success; we couldn’t have asked for any better.”

Aside from Awokoya, who is the Lavolta Stars’ bandleader, the group is made up of other six members, namely Sunday Okpo, Femi Omisakin, and Daniel Lombin Ogheneochuko.

Others are Tosin Adefeso, Dare Faduyi, and Gbadegun Samson Oluwaseyi.

Lavolta Stars is an assemblage of seasoned and dynamic musicians and instrumentalists with the passion and drive for quality music. The band was formed back in 2017 with the sole aim of providing good music.

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