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EFCC Files 11 Charges against Naira Marley

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

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

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 musician 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

Meanwhile, his management company, Cash Ellz Entz, also has released a statement demanding his freedom.

The outfit released the statement on Thursday.

Naira Marley, who is controversial for repeatedly praising internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo boys, in his songs and on social media, has been detained by the EFCC for nearly a week.

He was arrested in connection with an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.

EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, earlier confirmed that Naira Marley would be charged to court because “There is overwhelming evidence against him.”

But the musician’s management has said the EFCC was using the ‘Issa Goal’ singer as “a scapegoat for cybercrime in the nation.”

“The items found on Naira Marley does not belong to him. Items retrieved were borrowed so he can upload music, videos, and record while visiting Nigeria.

“Naira Marley does not practice fraud and does not facilitate it,” it said.

The singer splits his time between London and Lagos.

They also added that their artiste was innocent and only guilty of “Freedom of Speech.”

His arrest followed an early morning raid at 9, Gbangbola Street, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos.

At the point of arrest, the commission said it found and recovered a number of items, including laptops from the suspects.

The commission said Naira Marley has so far volunteered useful information about his involvement in the alleged criminal activities, even as investigations continue.

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I’m Sorry, Disqualified BBN7’s Beauty Tells Fans

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“When I learned I was accepted into the Big Brother Naija season 7 house, I was the happiest person on Earth. It felt like the world was my oyster, and I was excited for a chance to play the game, while remaining true to my authentic self,” she wrote.

“The 7th of August, 2022 was and still is a day I’ll always live to remember.🙏🏽 While I went into the house with the positive mindset of winning and making everyone proud, my goals were cut short due to some behaviors I exhibited, ultimately leading to my disqualification.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “No one goes in with the intention of being disqualified. It’s been more than a week out of Big Brother’s house, and this period has afforded me the much-needed time and space to reflect on my actions,” she added.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “I am disappointed at my actions and as I strive to first, forgive myself, I will not hold back from accepting my misconduct and apologizing to the general public. I AM SINCERELY SORRY. My profound apologies and gratitude go to; Those hurt by my actions in the house, The Entire Organisers of Big Brother Naija Season 7 Show (Many thanks for this great opportunity, I do not take it for granted) @bigbronaija.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       She also apologised to the organisers of the Miss Nigeria beauty pageant, her family and fans for her behaviour.                                                                                                                                                                                              ”The Miss Nigeria Organization, thank you for constantly following up on me to see that I get needed help @missnigeriaorg. My Family & friends – for your steadfast love and support 😢 To my new family, and the best Fan Base #BeeNavy, the fact that I failed you all has hurt me so deeply. I have cried for days and I truly regret my actions,” she apologised.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “I acknowledge that I am a work in progress and I promise to be better. The outpouring of love from you all makes me genuinely happy and fills me with so much hope. Thanks for all the prayers, advice, love and kind messages. You’re the absolute world best!! With your love, support and God’s grace, I hope to make you all so proud.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                “I LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU DEARLY!!! Lastly, I remain grateful to everyone who has shown me support and is still supporting the “Beauty Tukura” brand. I promise to do my best to utilize this opportunity the right way and do every one of you PROUD🙏🏽 Many thanks, ~ Beauty Tukura ~”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beauty was disqualified from the show after breaking the rules in Biggie’s house.

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Sterling Premieres Anthology of Nigerian Literature with Farafina

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Sterling Bank Plc has collaborated with Farafina Books, Nigeria’s leading independent literary publishers, to launch a premier anthology of the best of Nigerian writings spanning 200 years, from 1789 to 2018. 

The anthology, titled: “A Possible Future,” was curated to preserve the gems of Nigeria’s literary history, promote a reading culture in the country as well as to support featured authors in the distribution of their timeless books. The 411-page book features some of the best works of 46 literary authors in the country.

Featured authors include Olaudah Equiano, D.O. Fagunwa, Gabriel Okara, Cyprian Ekwensi, Obotunde Ijimere, Chinua Achebe, Duro Ladipo, Chukwuemeka Ike, Christopher Okigbo, Elechi Amadi, Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi, J.P. Clark-Bekederemo, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Isidore Okpewho, Mobolaji Adenubi, Buchi Emecheta, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare, Tanure Ojaide, Odia Ofeimun and Ben Okri.

Others are Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Dulue Mbachu, Ikeogu Oke, Biyi Bandele, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Aisha Osori, Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi, Yemisi Aribisala, Lola Shoneyin, Teju Cole, Yejide Kilanko, Eghosa Imasuen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Niran Okewole, A. Igoni Barret, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Taiye Selasi, Jowhor Ile, Tope Folarin, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Helen Oyeyemi, Uche Okonkwo, Gbenga Adesina and Wale Lawal.

Addressing lovers of literature, authors, influencers, and other stakeholders at the event, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive of Sterling Bank said the institution decided to collaborate with Farafina on the project because ensuring continued literacy, being a key component of education, is in line with the education component of the bank’s HEART strategy.  The other sectors are health, agriculture, renewable energy, and transportation.

He said besides this, the Bank has for some time now been supporting the literary arts through the Ake Arts and Books Festival, an initiative of the Book Buzz Foundation, which is driven by Lola Shoneyin, an award-winning writer and poet among others.

Also, in the foreword to the book, Mr. Suleiman noted that, “In the long stretch of time between 1947 when Professor Molly Mahood declared that Nigeria, at the time, had no literature and today, the country’s literary tradition has established itself as a force in the world.

“This is not to agree with Mahood that Nigerian literature is only as old as British involvement in the country’s affairs. In fact, by the time British colonialism invaded the geographical space that would later become Nigeria, there was already a deep-rooted literary tradition in the north of the region going as far back as the 15th century. So, we had literature long before we practiced the art in the colonial tongue.”

He said, “Modern Nigerian literature may have been ‘founded’ by the English based on an assumption – a falsehood, in fact – but the lie does not have to hold any longer. When we decided to believe in ‘A Possible Future,’ we did so with the understanding that Nigerian literature was already of age. While its story is still unfolding and the yardage of its potential still vast, nay infinite, the baby Emecheta, Nwapa and Tutuola once nurtured in verse, prose and on stage, no longer crawls.

A possible Future is a primer for anyone – and I cannot imagine who, in this age – just getting introduced to Nigerian literature.”

According to him, “Kachifo Limited and Farafina Trust have created a definitive, yet not conclusive text that summarises our literary journey and gestures to its destination. The details of which we do not know yet except that, in that future, everything is excellent, anything is possible and we are here for it.”

The Sterling Bank CEO also read excerpts from Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe, which featured on pages 41 to 42 of the anthology. Temilade Aina, a lietrature curator, took the second reading from the works of Biyi Bandele’s Burma Boy.

The event also featured a panel session made up of Professor Niyi Osundare, Eghosa Imasuen, A. Igoni Barrett, Wale Lawal and Temilade Aina. The session was moderated by Faniyi Kayode, a writer, book critic and editor.

The panel commended the anthology and described it as a premier national work and expressed the hope that subsequent ones will accommodate the works of other writers which are not covered now.

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BBN 7: Khalid, Ilebaye Become Third, Fourth Housemates to Be Evicted

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Sunday happens to be the least favourite day for housemates nominated for eviction. Last Sunday, and for the second time in a row, level two housemates were up for nomination for losing the week’s Head of House games.

For week three, housemates Ilebaye and Khalid unfortunately left the race as the third and fourth housemates to be evicted from the show.

Recall that the housemates were nominated alongside Bryann, Groovy and Phyna. The top two housemates with the highest votes this week are Phyna and Bryann.

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