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JUST IN: FG Lifts Nigeria’s Ban From Basketball Competition

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate return of Nigeria to international basketball competitions.

Ismaila Abubakar, the Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, made the announcement on Thursday at a press briefing in Abuja.

According to him, the approval was granted following a letter of appeal dated June 17, 2022, which was signed by Musa Kida, leader of the Nigeria Basketball Federation board, and addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

Abubakar said, “The letter appealed to the Minister to use his good offices to approach President Buhari for the reversal of the 2-year withdrawal of Nigeria from international basketball competitions.

“The Appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings: to immediately set in motion the process of status review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, to set up a high-powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball among other things.

“Flowing from the above and upon a review, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development approached and placed these developments before President Muhammadu Buhari being one that is committed to youth development and desirous of ensuring that they are availed of all opportunities in sports and other endeavors considered the appeal and in the overriding spirit of national interest, love for our youth, and in order to avoid sending basket development into a long period of suspension when NBBF has now committed to the resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately.”

Furthermore, Abubakar said despite the approval, the stakeholders were warned to ensure that the country’s laws are not subjugated to any other law.

“Failure to do this, as with any constitutionally bound sovereign nation, will attract sanctions. There was first a country before any organization or federation that bears the Nigerian name, colors, and flag us representing Nigeria.

“Secondly, that all those that lead government organizations and in this case our federations, hold such positions in trust for the Government and people of Nigeria under the direct supervision of the Minister of Youth and Sports,” he said.

BIG STORY

[PHOTOS] Actress Kemi Afolabi Begins Lupus Treatment At US Hospital

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Nollywood superstar, Kemi Afolabi, on Thursday announced that she has begun treatment for her year-long illness, lupus.

The actress had disclosed that she was battling the autoimmune disease in early 2022.

Sharing pictures of herself at the hospital on Thursday, the actress noted that she was undergoing treatment at The John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, United States.

She wrote, “I commenced my lupus treatment journey today 06/30/2022 with @hopkinsmedicine Alihamdulilah.

“Some beautiful souls made this happen, God bless you all. Wish me luck. #warrior.”

In May, some celebrities launched a fundraiser to aid Afolabi’s treatment.

In her appreciation post, she mentioned Mercy Aigbe, Funke Akindele-Bello, Toyin Abraham, Yomi Fabiyi, Akin Olaiya, Adeoti Kazim, Shola Kosoko, Wumi Toriola, and others, as sponsors of the fundraiser.

She had then revealed that the treatment, which will take place abroad, has been scheduled to begin in June 2022.

Following Afolabi’s announcement of her diagnosis, the actress was said to have visited a popular church for healing.

Reacting to the claims, Afolabi noted that she was a devout Muslim and had a personal relationship with Allah, as she asked her fans to debunk the reports.

She noted that since the news of her illness became public, she had “gotten reports of different misinformation and false narratives out there.”

Afolabi had then cleared the air on the purported visit, stating that she had never attended any church for healing.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Funke Akindele’s Husband, JJC Skillz Announces Marriage Crash

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JJC Skillz, Nigerian musician and actress, Funke Akindele-Bello’s husband, says he has separated from his wife.

JJC Skillz broke the news in a post on his Instagram page on Thursday. He revealed that he moved out of the house three months ago.

He wrote: “Dear Friends and family, I need to let you know that Funke and I have separated. While it lasted we shared a lot of things together and have created 2 beautiful children.

“The last two years have been extremely difficult for us. I know I have tried my best to fix things but I believe it is beyond repair now. Three months ago and at Funke’s insistence, I moved out of the house and apart from AMVCA have not been able to get Funke to sit down in an amicable manner to discuss the future of our relationship.

“I’m making this announcement so that the public is clear that we both are pursuing separate lives. We still have issues that need to be addressed such as the custody and wellbeing of our children which is paramount as well as business interests that need to be disentangled but I have no doubt that these will be resolved one way or the other.”

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BREAKING: R. Kelly Bags 30 Years Jail Term Over Sex Abuse

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US singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his status to run a scheme to sexually abuse children and women.

In September, a jury in New York convicted the R&B artist, 55, of racketeering and sex trafficking crimes.

The Chicago native – whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly – was also fined $100,000 (£82,525).

He currently faces separate criminal charges in three other cases.

Kelly – known for hit songs like I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition – was found to have used his celebrity status and sphere of influence to lure women and children into sexual abuse over two decades.

At his sentencing on Wednesday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly said the celebrity had used sex as a weapon, forcing his victims to do unspeakable things and saddling them with incurable diseases.

The sentence, she said, would act as a deterrent from committing similar crimes in the future.

Jurors at Kelly’s six-week trial in Brooklyn heard how he trafficked women between different US states, assisted by managers, security guards and other members of his entourage.

The court also heard how Kelly had illegally obtained paperwork to marry singer Aaliyah when she was 15 in 1994, seven years before the singer died in a plane crash.

The certificate, leaked at the time, listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was annulled months later.

Federal prosecutors had recommended that Kelly be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison, given the seriousness of his crimes and “the need to protect the public from further crimes”.

But his lawyers called for a sentence of 10 years – the mandatory minimum for his conviction – or less.

They portrayed Kelly as growing up poor in a household rife with domestic violence and suffering sexual abuse from a young age.

Credit: BBC News

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