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Shakira lands in court over alleged tax fraud

Rihanna becomes world’s richest female musician: Forbes

Singer, makeup entrepreneur, lingerie designer and now the first black woman to head a top luxury fashion house — Rihanna has racked up a $600 million fortune to become the world’s richest female musician, Forbes said Tuesday.

The 31-year-old — born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados — has amassed wealth exceeding that of Madonna ($570 million), Celine Dion ($450 million) and Beyonce ($400 million), whose husband Jay-Z was just named the world’s first billionaire rap star.

Rihanna’s ranking puts into fresh perspective one of her signature lyrics — “work, work, work, work, work,” which opened her 2016 dancehall smash “Work.”

Since bursting onto the scene in 2003, she has spun her triumphs in music into entrepreneurial gold, launching her makeup brand Fenty Beauty — co-owned by French luxury giant LVMH — in September 2017 online and with Sephora.

The line found success not least thanks to Rihanna’s fame both on and offline, with some $570 million in revenue last year after just 15 months of business.

She makes the majority of her money from touring and musical releases, according to Forbes, but also co-owns her Savage X Fenty lingerie line.

Breaking: Naira Marley remanded in prison for alleged internet fraud

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday morning ordered that upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, alias Naira Marley, be remanded in the prison custody.

The judge made the remand order shortly after the musician was arraigned before him on 11 counts, bordering on credit card fraud.

Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the cyber fraud charges pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The trial judge adjourned till May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defence counsel, Taiwo Oreagba, on behalf of his client.

Naira Marley surrounded by EFCC officials in court on Monday

EFCC files 11 charges against musician Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has preferred 11 charges bordering on fraud against upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, for alleged credit card fraud.

The musician effectively risks seven years in jail if found guilty, as Section 33 (2) which he was accused of breaching, reads: “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act.

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos State High Court.

Some of the credit cards, according to the EFCC, bore the names- Nicole Louise Malyon, and Timea Fedorne Tatar.

The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act.

The charges read in part, “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”

The artiste has been enmeshed in controversy in the last one month following his decision to openly support online fraud commonly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo.’

He was arrested last Friday along with four others, including his bosom friend, Zlatan Ibile.

Tonto Dikeh wants new boobs for birthday

Controversial Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh on Tuesday hinted on her desire to get a new set of boobs for her birthday which comes up on June 9.

The 33-year-old singer and mother of one with 4.4 million followers revealed this on her Instagram handle, @tontolet.

The philanthropist and self-acclaimed evangelist posted her thought in form of prayers to God.

“Dear Lord Jesus, I have all I want for now.
“My birthday wish is that you make me schedule and that of Dr Ayo allign so I have my new boobs in Jesus name I pray!! Thanks in addy Lord

“ #KINGTONTO #KINGTONTOBIRTHDAYWISH #JUNE9TH #BUYINGME A NEW BREAST #BOOBSWISH #GEMINIBABY,’’ she wrote.

However, it is believed that the new boobs she was talking about might be additional plaster surgery to her mammary glans to enhance firmness.

The third child in the family of five had in 2017 reportedly undergone plastic surgery twice to increase the size of her butt and enhance her body image.

Also, on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018  Dikeh who was raised by her step-mother  thanked her surgeon for the work he did on her body and wished him and his team a happy new year.

According to series of posts on her Instagram in 2018, she did the first surgery for five million naira while the second surgery went for four million naira.

In November 2018, the Petrochemical Engineering graduate from River State University of Science and Technology hinted on getting another plastic surgery.

Her birthday wish for a new boobs is a clear indication that she would soon be undergoing the knife to enhance her boobs.

Eddie Ugbomah, veteran filmmaker, is dead

Eddie Ugbomah, a veteran filmmaker during the 70s and 80s, has died.

Adebayo Thomas, director general of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) broke the news on Saturday.

Thomas is also the chair of the Chief Eddie Ugbomah Medical Fund Committee.

Ugbomah, who received a national honour from the federal government for his works, died at 78 after a long illness.

In recent times, he had pleaded for help to raise funds to treat a brain ailment.

He was scheduled for surgery on Monday.

In October 2018, his family first sent out an appeal for fundraising revealing that he was suffering from high blood pressure.

There was also an attempt to raise N50 million from the sale of his autobiography, ‘Eddie Ugbomah by Eddie’, in January to cover for his medical bills but it did not materialise.

Ugbomah said he got interested in filmmaking at 17 when Charlton Heston, now deceased American actor, visited Glover Memorial Hall in Lagos.

Heston had said it was a shame in 1959 that Nigeria had no film industry and this led to the formation of Edifosa Film Enterprise, Eddie’s film production outfit.

The holder o officer of the order of the Niger (OON) directed and produced films such as the ‘Rise and Fall of Oyenusi’ in 1979, ‘The Boy is Good’, ‘Death of the Black President’ and ‘Apalara’.

EFCC arrests musician, Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly arrested Afeez Fashola, Nigerian singer better known as Naira Marley.

The ‘Japa’ singer was arrested in Lagos on May 10, which happened to be his birthday.

EFCC spokesman Tony Orilade confirmed that the musician was being held for alleged cyber crime offences along with some others.

Naira Marley has been in the news recently for advocating the cause of internet fraudsters.

During an Instagram live session in April, he had urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) “as they are crucial to the circulation of money in the economy.”

“All you guys, all the money in your pockets, all the money you spend, you think it’s the government that is making the money go round? You better sit down and pray for yahoo boys. If dem stop yahoo, the money would not pass you guys,” he said.

“The money will go like this, from Obasanjo to Tinubu, from Tinubu to Mr Japa, you think me I need Yahoo? I make money from my music.”

The comments had elicited various responses with Ruggedman saying “Bro, do not disrespect the black race and the enslaved by trying to justify cybercrime with slavery’.”

“If you have issues with slavery, start a movement and fight whoever you think owns slaves. Because, as far as I’m concerned, people who did died ages ago. Right now, you stealing people’s hard-earned money—both foreigners and Nigerians—does not justify yahoo-yahoo.

“I’m not stopping you from doing yahoo-yahoo if you want to do it. I have friends that do it, some are in jail for it. I’m not judging. But the thing is do not try to make it look good to young people because a crime remains a crime!”

On Thursday, the singer released the video of his single ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy?’.

Davido reacts to uncle’s defeat at Appeal Court

Music star, Davido, has expressed his disappointment at the ruling of the Court of Appeal which declared Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress as the elected governor of Osun State.

Davido took to his Instagram page to react to the court ruling which was not in favour of his uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

According to him, this is not the end of the journey as he thinks there would be a victory when the case shifts to the Supreme Court.

“My people, we cannot hide our disappointment. This judgment of the Court of the Appeal. It hurts, it’s extremely painful, but guess what? It is not the end. Far from it.

“Everyone, remain calm. I want to urge all our supporters to remain calm at this time. As you all know, there is one last and important lap.

“It is time for the last lap and the God I know and serve is in control,“ he said.

David continued by saying: “We have won the first leg. We have lost the second leg but I am certain that the highest court in the land will rectify and restore all that has been stolen from us with this judgment.

“Everyone stay calm and stay safe! See you at the Supreme court,“ he wrote.

Davido’s response was coming barely a few hours after the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja overturned the judgment of the election tribunal that declared Adeleke winner of the election in the state.

Nigerians spent N304m on ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in first week

Nigerians spent over N304 million on Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in the films first seven days across cinemas in the country.

According to data provided by Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) through their instagram page @ceanigeria, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ debuted with N22.5 million in Nigeria on opening day.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the superhero movie went on to make N188 million in its first weekend.

The Marvel’s superhero flick is still leading the Nigerian chart even as it continues to break world records.

So far, the three-hour long film has broken the record for the biggest opening in Nigeria, a title previously held by ‘Black Panther’ which made N135.4 million in its first weekend.

NAN reports that according to box office reports, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has become the second-highest grossing film in the world, with an estimated $2.189 billion.

This record was cemented by the $619.7 million it has grossed domestically, which also eclipsed the $600.8 million ‘Titanic’ grossed in its initial theatrical run after opening in December 1997.

Pornographic films, others worth N2.5b seized by Censors Board

Mrs Bola Athar, Acting Director of Operations, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), has disclosed that the board seized pornographic and other unclassified films worth N2.5 billion in two years.

She made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a dinner reception on Sunday night in Abuja to mark second year of Mr Adedayo Thomas as Chief Executive Officer of the board.

NAN reports that top management staff, industry stakeholders and other functionaries of government were present at the event to felicitate with Thomas for effectively steering the Nigerian movie industry in the last two years.

Athar, who took a retrospective look into the activities of the board for the period, said the feat was unprecedented.

According to her, the seized items include production equipment, DVDs, CD copies of 20 in 1 video films, unclassified foreign and local films as well as pornographic materials.

“This is the first time in the history of NFVCB that its Director-General will go for raid operations and in two years, the board sanitized the market of unwholesome films, valued at N2.5 billion.

“These items include pornographic films, unclassified local and international movies as well as machines for mass duplication of films.

“These items were seized during our enforcement operations across the country, including Kaduna, Benin,Warri, Kano, Onitsa and Lagos, to serve as deterrent and prevent such illegal products from selling in the market,” she said.

Athar explained further that suspects arrested during the period had been charged to court in accordance with the enabling laws of the board.

She also said that the board had strengthened relationship with relevant stakeholders, including the police, whose enforcement operations yielded the desired results.

“For example, Adedayo Thomas led a team of our men with the help of the Police to invade the Alaba International Marke, known as the hub of piracy in Lagos.

“That operation resulted in the removal of unapproved film and video works, with street value of over N50 million, from the market and many suspects arrested.”

Athar noted that the board under its current leadership, had been repositioned to provide staff with better welfare package and strengthen relationship with relevant stakeholders and industry players.

She, however, urged all filmmakers operating in the country to ensure total compliant with the NFVCB regulations, to avoid legal actions.

She said that the board had articulated an integrated public enlightenment strategy aimed at raising awareness of stakeholders in the film industry.

NAN reports that as part of the event, a Five-year strategic Plan document was handed over to Thomas by his management team.

Mrs Fatima Abdulkadir, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, who presented the document to Thomas, said it was a compendium of the NFVCB programme for 2019 to 2024.

Abdulkadir, the most senior director in the board said: “We have a committee that consists of members drawn from every department of the board who came up with this document that contains what we intend to do in the next 5 years.

“It will be followed by an implementation plan, all geared toward repositioning the censors board as a regulator of the largest film and video industry in Africa, and second in the world.”

NFVCB,  a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria, is empowered by law to classify all films and videos, whether imported or produced locally.

It is also the duty of the Board to register all films and videos outlets across the country, as well as keep a register of such outlets, among other functions.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Thomas as Executive Director of the board in March, 2017.

Lagos club, Escape threatens to publish names of celebrity debtors

Richard Nnadi, the owner of popular club, Escape Lagos, has threatened to release a list of celebrities and politicians owing the club on April 1.

In a statement on his Instagram page, Nnadi said the club had gone bankrupt and eventually had to close down because it could no longer afford to pay its staff.

“Save the relationship. Don’t expose your customers. So we kept quiet till finally, we couldn’t sustain the club anymore so we had to close the business!” a post on the club’s Instagram page read.

“These people that owed us didn’t want us to survive …these people didn’t want us to be able to pay staff salaries … these people put over 80 families without a source of income cos we had to shut down!”

Yesterday after listening to Tiwa’s cover for Kiss Daniels ‘Fvck You, it put me on a thinking spree. Escape had to close because we were in debt of over an N120 million, and these debtors include a range of artistes, your biggest stars, people that you wouldn’t believe owe, Big Brother housemates,” he said.

“Tonto, I am sorry, you said I shouldn’t do this. But nobody is going to knock on my door, now that my business is closed and my staff can’t feed their family, and say—yo! Richard, I owe you N10 million, N5 million, here is your money. It is time people know how you guys are fvcking people’s business.”

Reacting to the post, Tonto Dikeh advised the owner to seek redress in court rather than openly subject its debtors to public shame.

50 Cent weighs in as Floyd Mayweather’s ex accuses him of $3m jewelry theft

50 Cent, popular US rapper, has dished a major career advice to Floyd Mayweather, boxing champion, after Shantel Jackson, the latter’s former girlfriend, accused him of stealing $3 million in jewelry.

A report on The Blast alleged that Jackson said that the boxer allegedly stole $3 million in jewelry from her in the wake of their breakup.

Jackson claimed that the boxing champ took a $2.5 million diamond ring, $250,000 10-carat diamond earrings, a $32,000 Chanel watch, a $100,000 diamond bracelet, a $20,000 diamond heart necklace and a $21,000 Louis Vuitton lock necklace.

The news outlet also said it obtained court documents where Jackson, who is now dating Nelly, a rapper, also claimed various other items, which are listed without a known monetary value, were allegedly stolen.

These items include a platinum masterpiece rolex watch with diamonds, a gold masterpiece polex watch with diamonds, a diamond rolex, a diamond cross necklace and a diamond cuff.

Reacting to this, Mayweather sued his former girlfriend, claiming that she used his credit cards without his permission.

The boxer’s counsel added that she “intentionally used one or more recording devices to surreptitiously record conversations with Mayweather including telephonic conversations and conversations in the presence of one another without Mayweather’s knowledge or consent.”

But the G-Unit boss took to his Instagram page to advise the champ to just pay up instead of taking a possible legal war to court.

“Champ took the s**t back, huh,” he wrote.

“Nah I ain’t gonna lie I’d do the same s**LOL. Champ you not gonna win, she got Gloria Allred. Give her a mill or two and let her go before shit get crazy.”

BBNaija season 4 scam : Multichoice cautions upcoming artistes

Multochoice has dissociated itself from the activities of a scammer who is trying to defraud upcoming musicians who wish that their works are aired on Big Brother Naija Show Season Four.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) investigation reveals that the scammer, identified as Fola, is requesting the artistes to pay different sums for their acts to feature in the show.

Foa sends Whatsapp announcements to the musicians to enable them to participate in the show at a fee.

The deal has three packages, namely, per song rotation in the house, performance at the live shows and a DJ package.

The first package costs N150, 000, the second, N450, 000 and the third, N250, 000.

Under the deal, the artistes are to be invited to play on one of the Saturday parties that are part of the BBNaija show.

NAN found that the money is to be paid into a proxy account not connected to DStv, a direct broadcast satellite service owned by Multichoice, the organisers of the show.

When approached, a representative of the promoter simply asked NAN for the package the artiste wanted and if he would love to perform or have his songs played in the house.

The representative thereafter requested the artiste to make payment and send the song via mail.

The representative insisted that the organizers were mindful of their reputation.

Some artistes (names withheld), who have already subscribed to the proposal, told NAN that they were taken in because they believed that it was usual practice of such payments to avoid any official trace.

They said though they have subscribed, they are yet to make their payment.

Meanwhile, the DStv, has refuted the claims of the group and promptly issued a statement distancing itself from the deal.

The company said: “some information has been circulation that Big Brother Naija will give music artists an opportunity to air their songs for a fee.

“Please note that the information is utterly false. Multichoice Nigeria does not and will not solicit for payment from anyone to play their songs during the Big Brother Naija season four.

“Also note that we have not authorised any individual, group of individuals or organisations to act on our behalf. Please be guided and do not be a victim of fraud.”

-NAN

Nigerians react as singer Waje plans to quit music

Afro-soul star, Aituaje Iruobe aka Waje reportedly wants to quit doing music professionally.

Waje announced this move in a now-viral video, citing high cost of publicity and low purchase rates of her album as reasons why she was considering quitting.

She said, “After everybody shouted ‘Waje, your last album was how many years ago, please we need an album’. Where are all the people that were shouting?

“I don’t have the money for publicity and that’s what I am saying. Emerald’s (her daughter) school fees is there.

“it’s like I have ten things laid out for me and every single time, its always been my music, my music that is taking the bulk of my money.

“I am not willing to put money there anymore,” she said.

Nigerians on Twitter have jumped on the video to react, making ‘Waje’ the number two trending topic on Twitter, on Monday.

Most of the respondents symphatised with her, noting that the music industry can be a hard terrain to glide through. They pleaded with her not to quit music but face her mental health first.

@Monyemorris tweeted, “I am upset by this. But i totally get Waje’s point. Music will just be a bottomless pit where she will be putting limited funds in. I think she should take her music outside Nigeria.”

@Zeon_imyang said, “I’m not happy @OfficialWaje deserves all love and support. Actual support not retweets, buy her album if you can. 🧡🧡🧡🧡I love you waje.”

@Soul_inspiredom said, “In developed countries, Waje’s album will be topping the chart in grossing sales right now and in the weeks to come. But this is Nigeria.”

@Sallykeneth tweeted, “Dear Waje, Stay strong. It’s just a phase. You’ll get over it, learn new ways to ace this thing and shine even brighter. Gosh! I know where you’re coming from.”

@Lafytoluu wrote, “Waje released an Album last year and I loved it. So many good songs on it. What’s going on?”

In 2007, Waje launched her music career. She was still a student at the time and paid her dues by doing lots of free shows and gigs.

In 2008, she featured in the P-Square hit track titled ‘Do Me’. This track was widely known across Africa and some parts of Europe.

She participated in ‘Advanced Warning’, a reality TV show which featured artists that are on the verge of a breakthrough.

The reality show was organised by MTV Base South Africa and Zain Nigeria, where she was the runner up.

Waje has shared the stage with artists such as Wyclef Jean in South Africa, opening for Kerry Hilson during a show organised in Calabar , and featured in “One Naira” by M.I.

Waje was among the judges for The Voice Nigeria alongside Tuface (2face Idibia), Timi Dakolo and Patoranking.

She released a single titled ‘OH MY’ in November 2018 and later released her Album same 2018,titled ‘REDVELVET’.

R. Kelly’s girlfriends defend superstar, deny brainwashing

Two women living with R. Kelly are defending the R&B superstar charged with sexual abuse, saying in an interview aired Thursday that their relationships with him are consensual.

Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, told US network CBS that they “absolutely” are in love with Kelly, brushing off allegations that the 52-year-old artist brainwashes women he keeps in homes that operate as de facto sex cults.

We live with him, and we’re in a relationship with him,” Clary said of Kelly, who returned to jail Wednesday for failing to pay child support.

“A very strong relationship as well,” added Savage.

Questioned on the nature of their sex lives with Kelly, Clary said, “I would never share with no one what I do in or outside of the bedroom.”

“There are people all over the world who have multiple girlfriends,” she said. “It’s no different.”

Last month Kelly — dogged for decades by allegations including child pornography, sexual abuse and false imprisonment — pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors. That case is not linked to women he currently lives with.

In 2017 a BuzzFeed report alleged the musician had kept women as virtual sex slaves at his Chicago and Atlanta homes.

Clary and Savage dubbed accusations against Kelly money-making schemes.

But Clary’s parents released a statement shortly after the interview aired saying their daughter “is presently suffering from years of mental abuse and manipulation by R. Kelly.”

“R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison,” said the statement tweeted by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents at least two of Kelly’s alleged victims.

“All of the victims and parents cannot be lying.”

CBS released the interview with the two women after airing an emotional sit-down with Kelly himself, his first public comments since the indictment against him.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This not me,” Kelly said, saying he was “fighting” for his life.

“Whether they’re old rumours, new rumours, future rumours, not true.”

Kelly — the star behind hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” — remains in custody in Chicago after failing to pay $161,000 in child support payments he owes to his former spouse and three children.

Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly also has previously accused the artist of domestic abuse.

(AFP)

How a Nigerian artist’s tweet caught the eye of Kevin Hart

That is what happened to 26-year-old Eli Waduba Yusuf, who told the BBC it was it was like a “dream” when US comedian and actor Kevin Hart directly contacted him about the portrait he’d created.

Yusuf, a hyper-realism artist from Nigeria, had spent two weeks drawing a detailed pencil image of Hart that looks like a black and white photo.Twitter post by @EWaduba: My name is Eli Waduba YusufAm a Nigerian, based in kaduna. Am a hyperrealism PENCIL Artist, I hope to become like @Harinzeyart. Please Retweet, let @KevinHart4real see it, thank you

Yusuf tweeted out his masterpiece, tagging Hart in the hope that the actor might see the finished product.

Others also saw the work and began tweeting Hart about the talented young artist.

Eventually, the artwork came to the actor’s attention and he responded to one user: “Talent out of this world… Wooooooooow”.

Kevin Hart

Hart then went further and tweeted Yusuf directly.

The actor said that he not only wanted to buy the portrait, but also commission Yusuf to draw portraits of a few of his celebrity friends.

The reaction to Hart’s reply had more than 310k likes in the first 24 hours with people tweeting their congratulations to Yusuf and wishing him well.

Yusuf said he was “thrilled” to be contacted by the actor: “I still can’t believe it; it feels like a dream. It’s been so overwhelming. Kevin Hart has just blew my mind.”

He went on to say: “A lot has changed – a few days ago I was just a local artist who loved drawing and would have loved the world to see my work, but I didn’t know it would happen so fast.

“Here I am having an interview with the BBC – please someone should wake me up!”

One Twitter user was impressed by the portrait.Twitter post by @Jimbodinhi: This is as close to a photo as you can possibly get without actually using a camera. Unreal.

Another tweeted her thanks to Hart for recognising Yusuf’s talent.Twitter post by @PetriderPaul: Your amazing thank you from believing in his work and supporting building up his talent 🌟

Another user welcomed the positive news coming from her country of NigeriTwitter post by @toria_i_o: In all this instability and mayhem plaguing our country, its gratifying to see talents fresh and pure emerge and given due cognizance. Kudos

Presentational grey line

What is hyper-realism?

Hyper-realism is a form of art that looks very realistic. The pieces can resemble photographs.

The high-resolution element takes the art beyond photorealism.

The art tends come in the form of paintings or sculptures. But other mediums such as pencil can be used to create the works.

Yusuf's portrait of his mother“My mother has been a source of encouragement to me, even though she never had a formal education and came from a poor background”
Presentational grey line

Yusuf describes how the artist Arinze Stanley inspired him to work in the hyper-realism genre.

“His work showed me the possibilities of art, so I decided that whatever I see I must replicate and do even better,” he said.

“I made sure that every new work I do is better than the previous one.”

Meanwhile, there is speculation as to who the celebrity friends are that Hart would like Yusuf to draw.

Some thought that it could be ex-wrestler turned actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. One Twitter user said: “The Rock is about to have a great drawing of himself.”

Whoever the lucky recipients of the new portraits are, Yusuf’s art has just got very real.

BBC NEWS

Kunle Afolayan releases trailers of new film ‘Mokalik’ .. partners Netflix, Canon

Prolific filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan has unveiled trailers for his most anticipated movie, ‘Mokalik’ (Mechanic).

The two trailers which dropped on February 1, 2019 by 2pm, were accompanied with three posters, setting the pace for another round of media buzz for his latest effort.

“Mokalik’ stars awards-winning singer, Simi, alongside other prominent actors like Femi Adebayo, Charles Okocha, Faithia Williams, Lateef Oladimeji, and comic actors like Wale Akorede (Okunu), Ayo Ogunshina (Papa Lolo) and Dayo Akinpelu (Alabi Yellow).

Mokalik movie trailer

The celebrated director is optimistic that the film will traverse commercial and artistic ends, having been provoked by the expectations of his diverse audience and fan-base across the world.

Afolayan who just returned from a meeting of his company, Golden Effects Pictures with Netflix in Amsterdam, Netherlands, disclosed that he is in talks with the world leading online streaming platform for the acquisition of ‘Mokalik’.

According to him, the deal with Netflix will include other works directed by him, including ‘The Figurine- Araromire’; ‘Irapada’; ‘Phone Swap’; ‘October 1’; ‘The CEO’, ‘The Bridge’ and the yet to released ‘Tenants of the House’.

“We are excited about having our other films, including ‘Mokalik’ on Netflix, as that will assuage our fans who have been sending messages from all over the world, complaining of not having access to our films,” he said.

For ‘Mokalik’ which was shot on EOS C300 Mark II, with Canon Cine lenses, the filmmaker says: “We are very delighted and grateful for the camera support extended to us by Canon Central and North Africa team here in Nigeria,” adding that, “EOS C300 Mark II – Stunning 4K quality and versatility allowed me as a producer to experience the creative vision in stunning cinematic details and provides footages, suitable for extensive post-production work.”

Senior Sales & Marketing Manager – B2C, Canon Central & North Africa, Mr. Amine Djouahra, expressed delight over the partnership, saying: “We are very proud to be part of this esteemed mainstream commercial and artistic movie, ‘Mokalik’, produced in Nigeria , one of the largest growing film industries in the world, and at Canon, we continue to listen to our customers when developing the product range to ensure our innovations meet their needs, enabling story tellers for creative filmmaking.”

Djouahra disclosed that Canon is looking at having a media screening of ‘Mokalik’ in Nigerai between March 19-21, 2019.

As part of the world slating for ‘Mokalik’, Afolayan, an Air France partner plans to have the film on several platforms including the French premium television channel, Canal+, which he said has showed interest in ‘Mokalik’ and ‘Odu’ (Capsule of Tales), a TV series in the works.

As Pavillon Afriques at the Marche du Film, Cannes Film Festival 2019, makes debut this May, Afolayan, on Thursday, was named Ambassador of the pavilion, and will be joining the showcase by other filmmakers from the continent by curating a Kunle Afolayan/Golden Effects Pictures retrospect. This is in addition to plans to get ‘Mokalik’ listed in the official selection of Cannes, among other major film festivals around the world.

A letter sent to the filmmaker reveals that Afolayan, having been listed as Ambassador on Pavillon Afriques – VIP page, is expected to wear a special ambassador’s tag during the event and function as a panelist on content sourcing, distribution and storytelling sessions among other roles.

Happy about the feats attained by the filmmaker, Commercial Director of Air France/KLM, Mr. Remco Bohre said: “Our partnership with Kunle Afolayan is another way of showing how excited we are, at Air France and KLM, about Nollywood and the Nigerian entertainment industry at large.”

‘Mokalik’ follows the career of an 11-year-old boy, Jaiye, from the middle-class suburbs who spends the day as a lowly apprentice at a mechanic workshop in order to view life from the other side of the tracks… When his father arrives to take him home, Jaiye has to make up his mind if he wants to return to school… or take on his apprenticeship full time.

Cocaine found in Chris Brown’s hotel room ‘was not his’ —Lawyer

French police probing rape claims against American R&B star Chris Brown found cocaine and cannabis in his Paris hotel suite, his lawyer said Wednesday while denying that the cocaine belonged to the singer.

Brown’s French lawyer, Raphael Chiche, confirmed that the 29-year-old was found in possession of cannabis during his arrest at the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel on Monday night over claims that he assaulted a woman a week earlier.

But the Grammy Award-winning singer had a note from his American doctor covering his use of the drug for medicinal purposes, Chiche said.

The cocaine found “was not his” and “belonged to those who had come to party in his suite on the night of January 20-21,” the lawyer added.

Brown, his bodyguard and a friend were arrested after a 25-year-old woman accused them of raping her in the Mandarin Oriental, where he was staying while attending shows during men’s fashion week in the French capital.

After being held for 24 hours the three were released without charge on Tuesday night.

Chiche said his client wanted to bring a defamation lawsuit.

“He says he had no sexual relations of any sort with the complainant,” Chiche said.

The singer, who denies the allegations, posted a picture on his Instagram account after his release that read “This B!tch Lyin’”.

“I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR…… THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP! (sic),” he posted next to the picture.

– Still under investigation –
The prosecutor’s office said the three men were still under investigation on suspicion of aggravated rape and a drugs offence.

The alleged victim told police she met Brown in a nightclub near the Champs-Elysees avenue with a group of other women on the night of January 15.

She then agreed to go back to the singer’s hotel, on the glitzy boutique-lined Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore.

Chiche said that his client was now free to return to the United States but would continue to cooperate with investigators and “will come back if he has to”.

Brown has been in the news more for his legal troubles than his hit releases in recent years.

In 2009 he was convicted of beating fellow singer Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, who was forced to miss the Grammy Awards because of her injuries.

Brown was sentenced to five years’ probation and six months of community service for the assault.

In 2014 he pleaded guilty to assaulting a fan in Washington and two years later he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon following a standoff with Los Angeles police officers.

He is best known for his hits in the mid-2000s such as “Kiss, Kiss” and “Run It”.

(AFP)

 

Norway probes Jay-Z’s Tidal over streaming numbers

Norwegian authorities are investigating claims that American rapper, Jay Z’s music streaming service inflated listening figures for albums by Beyoncé and Kanye West.

Norway opened an investigation into Tidal’s activities following claims that the company falsified streaming figures, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

An investigative report by Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv last May claimed that 320 million streams on Tidal of Kayne West’s The Life of Pablo, and on Lemonade, an album by Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce, were bogus.

Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, Okokrim, confirmed on Monday it has launched an investigation into the claims.

DN’s report accuses Tidal of intentionally falsifying streaming numbers and consequently paying inflated royalties to Beyonce and Kanye West’s labels.

Tidal has repeatedly denied the reports. On Monday, the company issued a statement about the allegations and the Norwegian investigation, “Tidal is not a suspect in the investigation. We are communicating with Okokrim. From the very beginning, DN has quoted documents that they have not shared with us in spite of repeated requests. DN has repeatedly made claims based on information we believe may be falsified. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned. We cannot comment further at this time and refer to our previous statement, which still stands.”

The statement referenced by Tidal is from company CEO Richard Sanders from last May, following the first DN report, in which Tidal said they “reject and deny” the story’s claims and said they had been the victims of a “data breach.”

DN’s revelations, based on an analysis provided by the Norwegian Center for Cyber and Information Security, claim that Tidal recorded more than 320 million “false plays” of songs from the two albums over short periods, a manipulation affecting more than 1.7 million users.

The paper said they obtained what they said was Tidal’s raw user data, which revealed suspicious listening pattering, including simultaneous playbacks of multiple songs by the same user or tracks being restarted every six minutes at the exact same second and millisecond of the song.

Okokrim’s chief public prosecutor, Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, said the investigation, which was launched late last year, is “still in an early stage.”

In a story on Monday, DN claims at least four former Tidal employees have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

Norway’s copyright and music association have also filed complaints about Tidal, following DN’s investigation.

Jay-Z paid $56 million to acquire Tidal in 2014 from Wimp, the Norwegian company that developed the streaming service. During a presentation in 2015, he introduced fellow artists such as Rihanna and Alicia Keys as co-owners.

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s former protege West both launched their albums exclusively on the streaming platform in 2016, but Tidal failed to rival streaming competitors such as Apple Music and Spotify.

In 2017, amid rumours Jay-Z was about to sell Tidal to Apple, mobile carrier Sprint stepped in and bought 33 per cent of the company for $200 million.

NYSC demobilises Davido for violating service rules

The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC has sanctioned popular artiste, David Adeleke, aka Davido, for violating camp rules during the mandatory three-week orientation camp.

For “absconding” from the camp during the orientation camp, the Corps had to “dekit” the artiste, which brought to an end his participation in the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Stream II in Lagos State, where he had been posted.

A source said that “The NYSC was constrained to “dekit” Davido for violating the rules guiding conduct and activities in the camp. As a matter of fact, he absconded because he was away from the camp without permission. That prompted the Corps to issue him a query which was sent from Abuja. So, he is no longer a serving corps member.”

The artiste violated many of the scheme’s regulations. Other NYSC bylaws violated by Davido include bringing vehicles into the orientation camp; disclosing official information; engaging in private practice; taking part in partisan politics and reporting late for duty.

However, it was also gathered that he may be remobilised for the scheme.

While replying to a post on Instagram during the week, the artiste had said that his NYSC programme had been terminated. He later deleted the comment from the post made by a friend.

Meanwhile, Articles 2 and 15 under the Code of Conduct subtitle in the NYSC Bylaws (Revised in 2011) state that every corps member shall not leave orientation camp without the written permission from the state coordinator, and every member shall not bring vehicles or motorcycles into the orientation camp.

The articles, however, stated that any member found guilty of violating these provisions, among other provisions, will be liable to be decamped and sent out of camp.

Section 15 (ii) added, “Any member who brings vehicles or motorcycles to camp shall not be registered, and if already registered, shall be decamped.”

The NYSC Director of Information, Adenike Adeyemi, said in a response to an enquiry, that the Corps had communicated with the popular musician over his activities during his service year, however, did not say what punishment had been meted out to him for breaking several bylaws.

Davido’s enrolment for the NYSC had created a stir, as he became the cynosure of all eyes at the Iyana Ipaja, Lagos orientation camp when he arrived for registration in August 2018.

He had also posted pictures of himself in the NYSC kit on Instagram, as other corps members in Batch ‘B’ Stream II swarmed him at the camp. Just afterwards, Davido left the camp and began a series of violation of the rules of the service.

It was observed from his Instagram page that just after a few days in the camp, he travelled to Boston, Massachusetts, as he embarked on a tour of the United States.

He thereby violated the Section 2 of the bylaw, which says all corps members must participate in all activities in the camp.

It could not be ascertained if he did not violate the second law, which stated that corps members leaving the orientation camp should get the written permission of the state coordinator.

But the Assurance crooner did not stop at Boston, as he also visited Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Georgia, Minnesota, London, Sao Tome, Accra, Mayotte, Lebanon, UAE, among others.

Davido, within the period, was also actively involved in the electioneering of his uncle, Ademola Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Osun State September 22 election.

For weeks, the artiste shuttled between Lagos State, where he was based, and Osun State, where the election held.

But the NYSC law not only prohibited participation in partisan politics, it also said corps members should not leave their place of primary assignments without the permission of their state coordinators.

Davido’s manager, Asa Asika, declined comment, saying he does not speak to the press.