Contact: 08099400130, 08023380008 E-mail



follow us on twitter:@daylightng

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stella Damasus denies NDLEA arrest

Delectable Nollywood star actress Stella Damasus has denied the rumour making the rounds that she was arrested at Lagos airport by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for being in possession of narcotic substances.
The dazed and embittered mother of two who spoke with ACTION!, from Cameroun, where she was lensing a new movie- Unspoken (now back in Nigeria), said she nearly fainted when she read the “tissues of lies” on several internet sites.
“I’m an easy going entertainer and do not understand why somebody would want to run me down by tarnishing my image and hard-earned name. I got calls from several family members and fans all trying to find out if I was in the custody of the NDLEA. It was when I went online that I saw several screaming headlines saying that NDLEA arrested me on my way to Europe. Nothing of such happened to me, I only came to Cameroun to shoot an international movie. Why would some jobless people sit somewhere and fabricate falsehood and tissues of lies to feed the public about me. I’m discussing the whole case with my lawyers and we must get to the bottom of this whole mess,” she stated.

ENBUSPA prays for Nollywood

With the incessant deaths currently being experienced in the nation’s motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood, some practitioners under the aegis of Entertainment Business Partners (ENBUSPA) are poised to organize a one-day praying and fasting session.
This move they averred would help cleanse the industry and drive the hovering spirit of death away.
Wisdom Nwankwo, leader of the nascent association disclosed that the programme is aimed at seeking the face of God concerning the many deaths being recorded in the industry since the beginning of the year.
“Our dear entertainment industry in recent times has been attacked by the evil hands of death leading to several losses of precious lives. And as stakeholders we do not want to fold our hands and watch this evil to continue ravaging our industry, which is why we have decided to seek the face of God. We would soon make official the date and venue for this special spiritual exercise”, he explained.
“ENBUSPA is made up of prominent stakeholders and practitioners with the sole aim of further developing the industry, promoting unity and creating enabling business opportunities,” added Ifeanyi Ekwem, the body’s scribe.

Azubuike Udensi for burial December 9

The burial planning committee of late filmmaker and boss of Consolidated Fortunes, Azubuike Udensi in collaboration with his family have fixed December 9, for his interment in Ihiala, Anambra State.
A candle light procession/night of tributes in honour of the deceased will also hold at O’Jez, inside national stadium, in the evening of December 1.
Making this known to journalists recently was Mr. Dozie Eriobu, the head honcho of Infinity Merchants, who also doubles as the chairman of the burial committee.
Eriobu, who lamented the painful loss of Udensi, whom he described as a passionate and pacesetting filmmaker, called on their colleagues to support the burial by coming out en masse on the above dates.
Other members of the committee are: Paul Okoli, Emeka Ojiego, Ikenna Umeononuju, Norbert Ajaegbu, Richmond Ezihe, Chinasa Onyechere and yours sincerely.
The committee, under its umbrella body, Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), equally promised to raise funds that would be handed over to the deceased wife, for the education of her children.

National Honours: Entertainers boycott Jonathan’s event

Just like Professor Chinua Achebe who disgraced and rubbished the The Presidency for the second time by blatantly rejecting the national honour of CFR bestowed on him, several top entertainers from both the music and movie sectors also boycotted the presentation ceremony, which held in Abuja, on Monday.
Unlike the previous editions, where colleagues and friends of the honourees usually accompany them to the event, this year’s outing was hugely boycotted by most of the colleagues and associates of the five Nollywood stars that were controversially honoured.
An angry top entertainer who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity said they decided to keep away from the ceremony because of the flawed nature of the list Mr. President drew for the entertainment industry.
“How can you come to a creative industry as big as Nigeria and decided to honour just one segment of that industry. Is Nollywood the only creative industry in Nigeria? What about musicians, painters and several others who are tirelessly working behind the scenes in the industry? National honours is not national jamboree, which is what Mr. President has turned it to and we do not want to associate ourselves with the charade that recently took place in Abuja, hence our collective decision to boycott it. Again, we expected Jonathan to honour more of veterans and pioneers in the industry and not those that danced and campaigned for him in the last presidential elections. It’s called national honours and not compensatory awards that you just dash out to friends and cronies. If this type of anomaly happens next year, we will stage a nationwide protest”, he threatened.
“And to further show how ill prepared Mr. President and his team are, they could not even get enough medals to present to all the awardees in Abuja. That tells you that the whole processes starting from selection to presentation were completely skewed,” submitted another enraged veteran in Nollywood.
While reacting, Emeka Rising Ibeh, the chairman, Lagos State Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), completely disagreed with the submission of his senior colleagues. He thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for deeming it fit to honour his colleagues. “Why the unnecessary noise about the choice of most of the honourees. They richly deserved this honour, those angry should wait for their own time and stop complaining. All of us cannot be honoured at the same time, last year, it was Aki, this year, Pawpaw, it’s turn by turn,” he argued.
Five Nollywood stars, Olu Jacobs, Kanayo O Kanayo, Stephanie Okereke, Genevieve Nnaji and Osita Iheme were among the 365 Nigerians awarded national honours by Mr. President in Abuja.

COSON set to pay multi-million royalties

The premises of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos will witness a beehive of activities on Tuesday, December 13, for the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). Expected to grace the event are Nigeria’s top songwriters, composers, publishers, owners of copyright in sound recordings and key music performers.
In keeping with promises made by COSON earlier in the year, the occasion will also mark the first general distribution of royalties by the society to stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry.
The decision to hold the AGM on December 13, according to COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, was taken following two full board meetings of the society held within one week on November 1 and November 8, 2011, in Lagos. The meeting of December 13, will also receive the report of the Directors while the members will have the opportunity to x-ray the activities of the society and chart a course for its future.
Speaking on the coming AGM, Okoroji says: “There are many who have expressed the view that collective management of copyright cannot work in Nigeria. They should come to the National Theatre on December 13 and see it at work. The distribution of twenty five million naira in one day, while an unprecedented event in Nigeria’s copyright history, is only a first step in what is a major breakthrough. I believe that working constructively together and remaining focused we have the capacity to do ten times or even a hundred times that amount in the very near future. Once the members agree to the distribution scheme, payment will begin immediately at the National Theatre. Our word is our bond”

Nkiru Sylvanus plans youths empowerment talent show

Nollywood actress, Nkiru Sylvanus is poised to unveil her latest pet project, tagged: I’ve Got Talent Show, disclosing that she intends giving back to the society with the initiative.
The evening unveiling being packaged by GeeRach Events and Entertainment, according to the Face of Hope ambassador, would equally celebrate noble courses and empower new faces coming into the entertainment industry as well as help them express their talents and actualize their dreams.
Shedding more light, Miss Sylvanus, now a Special Assistant to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said: “We are celebrating in style as part of the unveiling activities to give hope and support to hundreds of Nigerians with different talents”.

The unveiling proper holds on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at Welcome Centre Hotels, along International Airport Road, Lagos.

The unveiling of the talent hunt show will be a special event that will converge who is who in different works of life to support the initiator and unwind with the bests in Nollywood. ‘And this is a good avenue to promote Nigerians with unique talents’ disclosed Ifeoma Okeke, the CEO of GeeRach Events & Entertainment.

NDLEA’s inhuman treatment of Baba Suwe

The recent inhuman treatment meted out to leading Yoruba actor, Babatunde Omidina popularly known as Baba Suwe during his 24-day ordeal inside the cell of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was a huge violation of his fundamental human rights.
The entertainer who insisted he was set up, said that contrary to the earlier claim by NDLEA, that their scanner detected some substances suspected to be hard drugs in his stomach, maintained that nothing of such happened.
“Immediately, I approached the counter, a lady directed me to proceed to the NDLEA office. There was no check before I was directed. Afterwards, I was leg-chained like a common criminal. My system was flushed several times and at a time, I was forced to rummage my faeces in search of banned substances.”
Subjecting a defenceless man to such cruelty in this age and time was no doubt a crime against humanity and we totally condemn this inhuman treatment on one of the leading entertainment icons in Nigeria by NDLEA. The Nigerian constitution avers that a suspect remains innocent until proven guilty. The haste with which NDLEA rushed to the media to try and convict Omidina, when a court of competent jurisdiction had not yet pronounced the actor guilty of any wrong doing, still baffles many Nigerians till date.

Already, Bamidele Aturu, constitutional lawyer and the legal counsel to the traumatized and dehumanized actor has been talking tough and is set to commence a fresh multi-billion Naira suit against the agency. However, this will have to wait pending the final verdict of a N100 million case, before Justice Yetunde Idowu of the Ikeja Federal High Court, slated for November 24.
Aturu who revealed the above sordid details his client went through in the custody of NDLEA at a briefing attended by the actor and his friends recently at his chambers, said the agency must pay for their atrocities against an innocent man.
We once again agree with Aturu and urged him to fast track the process of extracting justice from the agency because justice delayed is justice denied.
Omidina’s ordeal in NDLEA custody began on October 12, when he was about to board an Air France flight to Paris. The comedian was due to anchor a child naming ceremony of a staff of the French national carrier.
The emaciated comedian who was making his first public appearance after his release on Friday, November 4, maintained a measured silence while his legal counsel addressed a cross-section of the media.
At the briefing, the 53 year-old actor also displayed scars from his manacled legs while in detention.
While calling for the resignation of both the Chairman and Director General of the anti-narcotics body, Aturu again reiterated that the battle against the NDLEA’s poor handling of suspects was not only for Baba Suwe, but for thousands of Nigerians who have been subjected to such inhuman treatments in the past.

We concur with Mr. Aturu and joined many Nigerians to condemn the NDLEA for its high-handedness and poor-handling of the case against the popular actor. We also find distasteful the comment attributed to Mitchell Ofoyeju, spokesperson of the agency that the way the actor was treated is the same way all its suspects had been treated. Arrant nonsense!

It is now clear to all that the agency goofed in its handling of the high-profile case involving Babatunde Omidina. Even the revered Justice Yetunde Idowu was not sparing in her harsh criticisms of NDLEA, while acceding to the request of unconditional release of the actor by his lawyer in pursuant to Order IV Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009.
The scenario has exposed an embarrassing flaw in the operations of the agency which has made it a laughing stock in the comity of anti-narcotics bodies across the globe. While this can be blamed on lack of adequate training for agency personnel as well as dearth of requisite equipments, we also recognised the fundamental loophole of poor funding.
NDLEA’s current budgetary allocation stands at N7, 823, 793, 322, an amount which is a far cry from the agency’s projection. In 2009, Chairman of the NDLEA, Mallam Ahmadu Giade, took the battle for funding to the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption.
Giade represented by the out-gone Director General of the agency, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, disclosed that whereas the NDLEA proposed to expend the sum of N13.469 billion on its operations, the Federal Government slashed the figure to N4.92billion.
Beyond the arithmetic and politics of budgetary allocation, for a Federal Government agency that has come under heavy criticisms for being sluggish and underperforming, an immediate inquiry into the handling of the Baba Suwe fiasco should commence now. The result of the exercise should be made public and adequate penalty meted out to erring staff that ridiculed and brought the agency into public disrepute.
Moreover, the agency should immediately embark on the re-training of her staff, discard incompetent ones and obsolete facilities, if it does not want to embarrass itself any further.
Finally, we suggest that Baba Suwe should be recommended for a national honour next year; this would further assuage his pains and erase the humiliation and ignominy the unwarranted arrest and detention had caused him and his entire family. Great nations do not treat their icons like piece of rags; rather they revere and honour them.
Baba Suwe as an icon has done great things for this nation more than most of those recently recognized and honoured with national awards by Mr. President in Abuja.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki) finally finds a wife …Fixes Nov. 26 for traditional wedding

After several years of searching for true love, Nollywood super star Chinedu Ikedieze globally known as Aki, has finally found it in the arms of one Miss Nneoma.
And on November 26, love struck Aki, his family members, colleagues, friends and well wishers will be storming his sweet heart’s home town in Mbano, Imo State, for the talk-of-the-town traditional marriage (Igba Nkwu).
Interestingly, the white wedding already dubbed, “a celebration of true and undying love” by the famous actor who has an HND in Mass Communication from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu State, holds elaborately in Lagos on December 10.
To further affirm his seriousness about walking down the aisle in the next couple of weeks with the only woman that means the whole world to him, the Bende, Abia State-born Nollywood star sent us an exclusive sms saying:
“We humbly request your presence at our traditional wedding ceremony on November 26, 2011. Venue- St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Primary School Field, Obolo Isiala Mbano, Imo State. Nne/Nedu.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier chat with ACTION!, the elated thespian boasted that his wife-to-be was specially created for him by God.
“I have finally found true love in the arms of Nneoma and we getting married the traditional way first on November 26, after which we would solemnize it with a church wedding on December 10, in Lagos.”
When prodded further for more details, the visibly excited Cupid struck entertainer urged us to be patient and wait for more information about his fiancée and their forthcoming wedding plans, soon.
“Just relax, I will soon host you and my few other friends in the media to a luncheon and officially introduce Nne alongside our wedding details to all of you. Thank you for all the love and support so far,” he gushed.
Ikedieze, who was honoured with the national award of MFR last year, was born on December 12, 1977.
With over 100 movie roles to his acting credit, Aki became a household name within and outside Nollywood when he alongside his screen twin brother, Osita Iheme (Pawpaw) teamed up to dazzle in the blockbuster movie Aki na Ukwa in early 2000.
In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the organizers of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

Jonathan’s National Honours List: Nollywood divided over choice of Genevieve, KOK, others

Perennially troubled Nollywood is currently divided over President Goodluck Jonathan’s choice of hand picking few stars for this year’s national honours award.
While some are hailing Mr. President for deeming it fit to honour their colleagues, several others are angry and accusing Jonathan of being biased and too selective in his choice of awardees.
The listed names from Nollywood are: Olu Jacobs, Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, Osita Iheme and Kanayo O Kanayo, all penciled down for the MFR award on November 14, in Abuja.
The angry stakeholders who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity berated Mr. President for selecting only a few names that campaigned vigorously for him during the last presidential election.
“With the exception of Olu Jacobs and Pawpaw, the other awardees were part of the campaign team of Mr. President during the last presidential election. We feel he’s using this opportunity to pay them back through their state governor. KOK, Genevieve, Stephanie and even Pawpaw are all from Imo State, are they the only stars in Nollywood. Nollywood is made of stars from all states of the federation and not just one state. By doing this, Mr. President is further fanning the embers of war in Nollywood and causing more trouble for the already crisis-prone industry. We are not against National Honours, but all we are saying is that it should be done judiciously and on merit, not through the back doors. What criteria did he use in choosing most of these people, if not for the fact that they were part of his campaign team? He keeps preaching about due process, which he failed to use in selecting the right people for this honour.”
Another angry top practitioner from the Yoruba movie industry also accused Mr. President of being tribalistic and insensitive in his choice of awardees.
“The Yoruba film industry has done a lot for Nigeria, yet Mr. President keeps treating us like third class citizens, despite all our contributions to the growth of this industry and nation. Look at the list of the awardees; we have only one Yoruba man on it. Why can’t Mr. President balance his list as a father figure and true Nigerian? This was exactly what he did during his campaign; he deliberately abandoned us and campaigned with only those from his part of the country. Instead of integrating, he keeps on disintegrating us. We just hope that he will change this ugly trend in 2012.”
Meanwhile, all the recipients are happy and looking forward to the D-Day in Abuja, despite the mounting criticisms about the choice of some of them.

Ejike Asiegbu battles Clarion Chukwurah over actors Insurance Scheme

Popular actor and the immediate past national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Mr. Ejike Asiegbu is currently on a warpath with screen goddess Clarion Chukwurah, over what he called, “misguided statements and unfounded allegations.”
In fact, he has even threatened to drag the actress before a court of competent jurisdiction to prove her allegation or face the wrath of the law.
Asiegbu’s seething anger stems from a recent text message being circulated by Chukwurah, which accused and challenged the former to account for all the insurance monies paid by actors during his tenure as president.
Some parts of the now very controversial sms, which went round Nollywood stakeholders and practitioners read: “With continued avoidable deaths in Nollywood, I ask Ejike Asiegbu, what became of the health insurance scheme we paid for at the beginning of your first tenure as AGN president…”
While responding, Asiegbu who said he was thoroughly disappointed with Chukwurah’s ignorance and unwarranted attack, also warned her to desist from rubbishing his hard earned name.
Hear more from embittered Asiegbu:
Ordinarily, I don’t join issues with people. For sometimes now I have deliberately avoided Clarion Chukwurah.
I vividly remember that during my tenure as president of AGN there was a discussion between us about her intention to become AGN president. I encouraged her and gave her some advice which I believed was right. Unfortunately, she did not do what I asked her to do. So I was not surprised that during the last period of my tenure as AGN president that she joined evil forces against me. History will always bear me witness that my achievement during my tenure surpasses that of anyone that has been there. I find her sms very insulting. It is outrageous that even after two years that I have left office, Clarion Chukwurah is still sending text messages and falsehoods to a lot of artistes and Nigerians, even to the media and stupidly asking of what happened to the Insurance scheme that AGN members paid during my tenure as president of the AGN. In her statement, she alluded that the Insurance scheme should have been able to take away deaths that are currently occurring in AGN.
When I got the text message that she has been circulating, I did not only feel disappointed, but also saw her as someone displaying how ignorant she was about the workings of Insurance schemes. She has thrown caution to the wind and showed the world that she also lacks manners. She is not only ignorant; she lacks respect and has no knowledge of how associations are run.
For crying out loud, there was no death during my tenure and if there was any at all, I stand to be corrected, she should bring forth whoever that died and we will check records to ascertain if that person paid a particular amount of money for his or her insurance.
I want to educate her that insurance scheme lasts for one year and I believe she does not know this because she was busy collaborating with her cohorts to make sure that nothing worked during my tenure.”
Meanwhile, in a phone chat unperturbed Chukwurah said she stands by her words in the sms and insisted Asiegbu should urgently come out and explain what happened to the monies actors paid for Insurance during his reign.
“Whatever Ejike Asiegbu said about me is completely irrelevant to me. What matters however, is that actors are dying and there is need for him to explain what became of monies paid during his tenure as President for the life saving plan of a health Insurance Scheme. Mudslinging and threats will not solve the problem. Ejike should address the issue so that AGN can revisit this Scheme with some credibility through a fund raising event.”
We will definitely keep you posted as this stars war rages on.

Nollywood records two more deaths

Barely a week after the painful death of pioneer filmmaker and marketer Azubuike Udensi of Consolidated Fortunes, in a ghastly road accident, two more practitioners were reported dead, over the weekend.
Franca Onanga, an Enugu-based actress recently died after a brief illness in the coal city. And while the industry was still crying and mourning her sudden exit, another young producer, Ifeanyi Udokwu, followed suit.
He was said to have slumped and died on location on Saturday, October 27, without any sign of being ill. Fear has gripped the entire Nollywood following the deaths of these three practitioners within a spate of one week.

Jazz maestro, Jimmy Dludlu to headline Smooth 98.1FM’S Luxury Concert

The Smooth 98.1FM’s anticipated Love Music Love Life Luxury Concert, which holds tomorrow at Eko Hotel and Suites, will feature three international musicians and their bands with Jimmy Dludlu as the lead act.
The trio of Asa, Pamela Williams and Jimmy Dludlu are expected to thrill audiences with soulful, seductive pop and jazzy guitar riffs at the already sold out evening concert.
"All three performers will grace our stage for one night only, for a truly unforgettable and luxurious concert experience", hinted a member of the organizing committee.
Long before record companies became aware of Jimmy Dludlu, the media were already celebrating him as the hottest and most stylish talent among South Africa's new Jazz generation. He founded the highly successful music group “Loading Zone” in 1991 and toured with them across the continent opening for stars like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Sipho Mabuse.
Over the course of his career he has participated in the Johannesburg Arts Alive Festival, Cape Town Jazz Festival, Guinness Jazz Festival, Sun City production Sax Appeal and La Villette festival in Paris and has garnered many accolades including 2 FNB SAMA Awards for "Best Newcomer" and "Best Contemporary Jazz Album” with the release of his debut album Echoes From the Past on PolyGram records in 1997.
In May this year, he released the seventh album of his 14-year career entitled “Tonota”, named after a small village 15 minutes from Francistown in Botswana that gave him his roots and first music flight.
Jimmy will be performing tracks from this and past albums at tomorrow’s concert.
“So do not miss your chance to see him display his superior guitar skills live tomorrow, added this organizer.

AFRIFF announces 2011 jury members

The organizers of the 2011 edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), has announced members of the jury awarding prizes at the forthcoming festival holding between November 30 and December 4.
The jury members, according to the organizers are comprised of six individuals who are well-grounded in the global arts community.
They include, Eriq Ebouaney, a France based Cameroonian actor, British-born Nigerian playwright, Oladipo Agboluaje and Heidi Lobato, a Dutch-born film and TV expert.
Others are Femi Odugbemi, the award-winning filmmaker and scriptwriter, Mahen Bonetti, the boss of African Film Festival and Gambian-born Mbye Cham, who’s currently Chairman of the Department of African Studies at Howard University in Washington, D. C.
AFRIFF is a platform for the world to zoom in on the talent and beauty of Africa through film. Started in December 2010, it holds yearly hosting both local and international filmmakers, celebrities, actors, directors, film buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, film lovers and the press.

The AFRIFF theme for this year is, Africa unites. It draws on the principle that being African is a bond that goes beyond geography, birth or lineage; as people of African origin are spread across the globe and Africa is also a proud home to many non-Africans. The vision is to reflect a common true African identity and re-establish Africa as an original home to all.