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Nigerian music star, D’Banj, arrested, detained by anti-corruption agency

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Top Nigerian music star, songwriter and singer, Oladapo Oyebanji, popularly known worldwide as D’banj, has been arrested by an anti-corruption agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC).

The music icon who held sway in the early 2000s was reportedly arrested and detained on Tuesday by operatives of the agency after he honoured an invitation to visit the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

According to an exclusive report by an authoritative Nigerian newspaper, Premium Times, the ICPC had placed D’banj on their watch list after he had dodged summons for weeks, claiming to be outside the country for scheduled concerts each time he was invited to appear for interrogation over fraud allegations.

According to sources in the agency, D’Banj’s travails started after he was accused of fraudulently diverting millions of naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for an empowerment programme set up by the government in 2016 to address youth unemployment and increase social development.

The ICPC had alleged that D’banj colluded with some compromised government officials to introduce ghost beneficiaries into the payroll of the scheme known as N-Power project.

According to the allegations, the pop star and the corrupt officials ended up diverting stipends paid to the phantom beneficiaries into accounts linked to him.

It was learnt that after the musician failed to show up for interrogation despite multiple invitations, the ICPC moved to arrest him anywhere in Nigeria and abroad, forcing him to show up at the commission’s office on Tuesday.

On arrival, he was said to have been subjected to a prolonged interrogation session after which he was detained while his plea for administrative bail was rejected by officials who said he could not be trusted to attend a trial if released on bail.

Culture

Morocco adds national dress, Caftan, to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Heritage

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The Moroccan Department of Culture says it is committed to preserving its cultural and artistic heritage of one of its National dresses, Caftan, by promoting it internationally.

To this end the Department has concluded plans to add the Caftan to the list of the intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Speaking at the which held on Friday in Rabbat, with theme theme “Art, Tradition, and know-how of the Caftan,” the Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication, Abdelilah Afifi, said after the inclusion of the Caftan in the list of tangible and intangible heritage of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) in 2022, all stakeholders are now focused on continuing to preserve Morocco’s cultural heritage.

“The Department of Culture is committed and is collaborating with all stakeholders, to preserve the Caftan as a national and artistic heritage,” Afifi stressed.

“Studies have been conducted around the Caftan to highlight its cultural and social dimensions and its craft and artistic characteristics.”

“The skills and knowledge associated with this element have also been documented and recorded in audiovisual format to highlight its distinctive features and promote it internationally,” he said.

The director of the Museum Mohammed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art, Abdelaziz El Idrissi, who also spoke at the event, highlighted in a presentation the characteristics of regional Caftans of Morocco, including the Caftan of Fez, Tetouan, Rabat, Marrakech, and Oujda.

“It was in the 12th century and under the Almohad dynasty that the Caftan appeared in Morocco and that it was quite different from traditional clothing worn in the East,” he explained.

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Nigerian first class traditional ruler, Ooni of Ife, makes Hollywood debut

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Nigerian first class traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has made an incursion into the movie world when he recently made a historic debut in a new Hollywood flick titled “Take Me Home.”

The revered King who played a unique role in the movie that succinctly befits his throne as the custodian of Yorubaland, said his role helped to further accentuate and brings royalty, honour and authority to the silver screen.

Produced by renowned produced by Yoruba historian and filmmaker Dotun Taylor, the film, “Take Me Home” centres on the quest for originality and identity.

According to Taylor, the movie “tells the story of an American girl who became possessed after wearing an African masquerade costume that was stolen during a tour in Ile-Ife.”

“In a bid to save her life, her entire family, guided by the promises of two African immigrants, embarked on a journey that would land them in hot waters.”

“As the spiritual and traditional leader of the Yoruba people now saddled with the responsibility of making supplications to God and the Òrìṣà on behalf of his people, Ooni boldly depicted the rich culture of the Yorubas and its relevance in the western world.”

The epic movie also features top Hollywood actors like Dave Sheridan, Amber Rivette, Felissa Rose, Meji Black, and Nollywood actors Abdullateef Adedimeji and Bayo Bankole (Boy Alinco) among others.

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