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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

Nigerian Superstar Singer Burna Boy To Perform At 2024 Grammy Awards

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Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, is slated to perform at the 2024 Grammys.

The ‘African Giant’ crooner was announced alongside Luke Combs and Travis Scott on Monday morning by the Recording Academy.

“Attention: African Giant @BurnaBoy will take the #GRAMMYs stage on Sunday, February 4th at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT on @CBS,” the Grammy organisers wrote on their X handle.

Other performers earlier announced include Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and Dua Lipa.

Recall that Burna Boy received three nominations at the 66th Grammys. His nominations include Best Melodic Rap Performance for ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World,’ Best Global Music Performance for ‘Alone,’ and Best African Music Performance for ‘City Boys.’

The 66th Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

 

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BIG STORY

Five Suspects Arrested Over Alleged Piracy Of Toyin Abraham’s Malaika — Police

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The police in Lagos have confirmed the arrest of five suspects over an alleged piracy of actress Toyin Abraham’s latest film Malaika.

The spokesperson for the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Alagbon, Ikoyi Aminat Mayegun, paraded the suspects before newsmen at the FCID, Alagbon, on Tuesday.

Mayegun said that the suspects were allegedly involved in conspiracy, infringement on intellectual property, piracy and cyber-related crimes concerning the unlawful use of cyberspace to broadcast the movie.

She said on Thursday, a criminal complaint was lodged by Toyin and Seun Olayemi, co-producers of Malaika.

The petitioners claimed that some people had criminally pirated their latest movie, which was originally released for cinema viewing only on December 21, 2023.

According to her, the complainants alleged that their movie was unlawfully and fraudulently accessed, uploaded on a website and a streaming web link created for social media followers worldwide to freely view the movie.

The FCID spokesperson said that the complainants alleged that the suspects had infringed on their intellectual rights and were denying them their movie profits while unlawfully profiting from it.

“Following the receipt of the petition, a joint investigation involving the Special Investigation Units of the Anti-Fraud and Cybercrime Sections of the Department was launched, while the unique intelligence and cybercrime assets of the Force were optimally deployed,” she said.

The police spokesperson said that these initiatives, follow-up coordinated actions by detectives and further investigations on the case led to the arrest of the suspects.

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BIG STORY

DecemberIssaVybe: “Sickle Cell Disease Couldn’t Stop Me From Becoming A Rockstar”, Adekunle Gold Inspires Youths At Firstbank Sponsored Lagos Concert By Bolaji Israel

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Afrobeat’s sensation, Adekunle Gold, popularly known as AG Baby, mesmerised hundreds of music lovers and inspired youths at a pre-Christmas concert sponsored by FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier financial institution.

The event, aptly named “Stacked December Party,” took place on December 22, 2023, at the Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki, Lagos.

Adekunle Gold, with his unique blend of breathtaking and soulful melodies, captivated the audience, leaving them in awe and begging for more. The concert, titled “An Intimate Encounter with Adekunle Gold,” provided a platform for the superstar to connect with his fans on a deeper level.

In a touching moment during the show, the acclaimed singer took a break from his electrifying performance to share an inspirational message. He revealed that despite battling the life-threatening sickle cell disease, he had successfully achieved his dreams of becoming a celebrated musician. With unwavering determination and perseverance, Adekunle Gold proved that one can overcome any obstacle and fulfill one’s aspirations.

Addressing the crowd, he said, “I have been on tour for about three years with full energy. I am a rockstar, yet I have sickle cell disease. It’s not easy, but if I can overcome my challenges, so can you. No matter your situation, believe in yourself and strive for greatness. I pray for your happiness and success.”

FirstBank, a financial giant which has operated for almost 130 years and is well known for its commitment to supporting the arts and empowering youths, sponsored numerous customers to attend the concert as part of its DecemberIssaVybe campaign. To win more free tickets, customers are encouraged to follow the bank on its social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

The bank’s sponsorship of heavyweight musical events featuring Adekunle Gold, Asake, Night of Queens female acts, Davido, Kizz Daniel, and others through the DecemberIssaVybe campaign since 2017 aims to create memorable experiences for families, fostering bonding and entertainment during the festive season.

Adding to the magical evening, Simi, Adekunle Gold’s superstar wife, joined him on stage for a brief but enchanting duet performance. Together, they serenaded the audience with heartfelt renditions of their popular songs, including “No Forget,” “Stand By You,” and “Look What You Made Me Do.”

Adekunle Gold treated his fans to a delightful mix of his old and recent hits, including “Kelegbe Megbe,” “5 Star,” “Orente,” “Pick Up,” “Jore,” “Jehovah Dey Bless Me,” “Mogaju Aye lo,” “Sinner,” “Okay,” “Ogaranya,” and “Ire Ayo.”

The show also featured the presence of young musical talents; stylish media content creator and influencer, Eniolaoluwa Adeoluwa, popularly known as Enioluwa, as well as skitmaker Layiwola Wasabi, known for his hilarious lawyer roles.

At 36 years old, Adekunle Gold, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Arts and Design from Lagos State Polytechnic, released his fifth studio album, “Tequila Ever After,” in 2023. The album, his first under DefJam Recordings , received widespread acclaim and further cemented his status as a musical force to be reckoned with.

Adekunle Gold’s remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to all, proving that with passion, perseverance, and a belief in oneself, dreams can be realised, regardless of the challenges faced.

His performance at the FirstBank-sponsored Lagos concert left an indelible mark on the hearts of his fans, reminding them that they too can overcome obstacles.

 

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