Who is Pascal Siakam?

Pascal Siakam never dreamed of being an NBA hero growing up in Cameroon, but the lanky forward discovered in a youth basketball camp delivered a stellar performance in his NBA Finals debut.

Siakam scored a playoff career-best 32 points and powered the Raptors over defending champion Golden State 118-109 in Thursday’s opening game of the best-of-seven championship final.

Siakam, his homeland’s first NBA Finals player, sank 14-of-17 shots from the floor, attacking one of the NBA’s top defensive squads in moves unexpected when he was discovered in a Basketball Without Borders camp.

“At that time I didn’t even know if I really dreamed of being at this level,” Siakam said. “I couldn’t even think about this moment because it wasn’t reachable for me. But I think once I got to the point where I felt like I had a chance, I put everything forward and I just worked really hard.”

 

It paid off for Siakam and showed what talent Africa might yet produce for the NBA.

“It’s amazing. It just shows the growth of the continent,” Siakam said. “Being at this stage and representing the continent is amazing. I just want the game to continue to grow in Africa and for kids to see this and hopefully it inspires them.”

Siakam’s effort and journey drew praise from Golden State’s Draymond Green, the defender he outshined.

“You got to take your hat off to him of what he has been able to accomplish,” Green said. “He has become a guy. He put a lot of work in to get there and I respect that.”

Toronto’s Kyle Lowry was amazed by his teammate as well.

“Hard work and dedication and knowing the type of talent that he has,” Lowry said. “Never settling for anything but being the best basketball player he can be.”

  • Super committed –

Raptors coach Nick Nurse remains stunned by Siakam’s journey.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Nurse said. “Two years ago when we got bounced out of the playoffs, he literally went in the gym the next day and he was like, ‘Listen, I need to learn how to shoot. I see that in playoff basketball you better be able to shoot.’ He took it and absolutely ran with it. He was super committed to finding a place in this league and improving his game.

“He believes in himself and he went to work at it. I think that’s a powerful statement.”

Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who never imagined his own career path when he was growing up in Nigeria, said he couldn’t have guessed Siakam would rise to NBA stardom.

“When I saw him in Basketball Without Borders, no,” Ujiri said. “That guy has been incredible. He’s been an unbelievable revelation for us.

“He doesn’t want to be one of those African players that’s labeled, whether it’s a shot blocker or a defender or rebounder or he runs. He wants to be a star. He wants to be a versatile player in this league and he wants to be able to do it all. And he has put the work into it.

“We all used to hold our breath when he went on the fast break. And now we can’t wait until he does that.”

Raptors center Marc Gasol, a Spaniard, sets aside the obstacles and looks at the player Siakam is.

“He does a great job of using his body, attacking the angles that the defense is giving you. I just like when he plays that aggressive,” Gasol said. “Whatever happened in the past happened. Having a mindset of going for it and knowing that it’s going to be OK, your teammates believe in you, that’s all that matters and he knows that.”

 

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Why Cardi B cancelled show?

Cardi B wants people to know that she can do whatever she wants with her body.

The 26-year-old rapper took to Instagram Live this week to respond to backlash that she was “lazy” for getting plastic surgery and canceling shows.

“[People tell me], ‘You lazy, you should just workout.’ I do whatever the f**k I want to do with my body,” she said in her video. “I don’t have the time of day like you do. Like, my job as an entertainer is a 24-hour job, bro. So no, I don’t have time to work out and I wanted specific things that I know that no matter how much I work out, is not get fixed.”

“Like my bbs, no matter how much I work out, they were not gonna lift themselves,” she continued, emphasizing, “So yeah, I had to get fking surgery.”

Earlier this week, the “I Like It” rap star announced that she was postponing shows due to ongoing recovery from surgeries she underwent. In her Instagram Live, she further explained that her doctor advised her to rest because she as not fully healed.

 

While her recovery was costing her “millions of dollars,” Cardi explained that at a point “health is wealth” and she has to take time off.

“You know, I hate canceling shows because I love money. I’m a money addict,” Cardi said. “And I get paid a lot of money, a lot of money for these shows. A lot of money. I’m canceling millions of dollars in shows, but like, health is wealth so I have to do what I have to do.”

ET recently sat down with Cardi, where she revealed that she underwent cosmetic breast surgery because giving birth to her daughter, Kulture, “f**ked me up.”

“I just got my b**bs redone,” Cardi, 26, said. “I feel good, but then sometimes I feel, like, not, you know? [When] your skin is stretched out.”

She also told an audience she shouldn’t be performing due to recent liposuction. “I should’ve canceled today because moving too much is gonna fk up my lipo,” she told the crowd at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. “But, bch, I’m still gonna get this mother f**king money back, let’s go!”

She later told ET that she felt it was important to talk publicly about her surgery so that people were more aware of the harsh realities of recovery.

 

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Why 11 charges was filed against Naira Marley?

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to present nine witnesses in its case against musician Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, The PUNCH can report.
According to court documents obtained by our correspondent, the witnesses would give evidence of their investigation, tender exhibits and reveal their findings to the court.

Three of the witnesses were said to have taken the defendant’s and witnesses’ statements.

The remaining are representatives of Mastercard, Visa Inc and Guaranty Trust Bank, who are expected to tender relevant card and account details of the defendant to the court.

 

The artiste was arrested on May 10 at 9 Gbangbala Street, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos, together with Omomniyi Temidayo (aka Zlatan Ibile) and three others for alleged advance fee fraud.

After his arrest, the anti-graft agency filed 11 charges against Naira Marley bordering on alleged cybercrime and identity theft.

The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act, which the artiste risks seven years in jail if found guilty.

Section 33 (2) of the Act, which Naira Marley was accused of contravening 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.

Ten days after his arrest, Naira Marley was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice Oweibo ordered that the artiste be remanded in custody until May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defendant’s counsel, Mrs Taiwo Oreagba.

He was subsequently granted bail to the tune of N2m.

According to court documents obtained by The PUNCH, the EFCC has listed nine witnesses to testify against the artiste at his trial.

 

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Obj denied Plane crash rumour.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied being involved in a near plane crash with other prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300.

Passengers were said to have also included the director general of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni.

Also reported to have been in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the director of ports inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.

 

The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had reportedly departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9.10 am, Ethiopian time; 7 am Nigerian time.
A NAN correspondent, who was said to have been among the passengers, had recalled that the almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.

A BBC Pidgin tweet reported the denial below. The headline translates to mean he was not involved in the air crash.

An earlier report had claimed that rather than landing on the first touch line of the runway, the pilot over shot it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchline.

NAN had reported that on realising this, the pilot quickly manouvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.

 

The plane was said to have hovered around between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic in passengers and crew members and reportedly landed some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.

Obasanjo was said to have attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday, May 28, in Addis Ababa.
However, the former president denied the report and confirmed to BBC Pidgin he was in Ogun state.

In another news report, former president, Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians not to give in to despair as the country marks 20 years in democratic practice as what he described as “a long spell of military dictatorship.

In a statement on Wednesday, May 29 which marks the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office, the former president congratulated the country in its democratic strides.

Jonathan urged the citizens not to give in as the country battles insecurity, poverty and unemployment.

 

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How Adeleke was acquitted by the Appeal Court?

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday ruled that Senator Ademola Adeleke was qualified to contest the September 2018 governorship election.

A three-man panel of the court made the pronouncement in a unanimous judgment which upheld the appeals by Adeleke and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

Justice Emmnuel Agim, who read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, awarded the cost of N3m against the plaintiffs who instituted the suit before the FCT High Court — Wahab Raheem and Adam Habeeb — who were respondents to the appeals filed by Adeleke and the PDP.

Adeleke’s and PDP’s appeals had challenged the April 2, 2019 judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which had declared Adeleke ineligible to contest the election on the grounds that he forged his secondary school credentials submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2018.

 

Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court had also declared Adeleke a dropout of the Ede Muslim Grammar School in Ede, Osun State, and thus was not qualified under Section 177(d) of the Constitution to contest last year’s governorship election in Osun State.

But, upturning the judgment on Thursday, Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, held that the suit, having not been filed within 14 days after Adeleke’s Form CF001 was submitted to INEC or 14 days after his name was published as a candidate in the September 2018 election, the suit filed before the FCT High Court, by virtue of Section 285 of the Constitution, had become statute-barred.

 

Justice Agim also held that the failure of the FCT High Court to deliver its verdict within 60 days of the filing of the suit had rendered the lower court’s judgment a nullity.

But the Court of Appeal also held the affidavit evidence of the West African Examination Council and result ledger attached to it showing that Adeleke was not a dropout but actually sat the May 1981 examination of the body at Muslim Grammar School, Ede.

Justice Agim held that by virtue of Section 177 of the Constitution, by merely writing the examination and without passing any paper, Adeleke was qualified to contest the governorship election.

 

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How Inaugural Speech was missing yesterday?

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, in Abuja, took the oath of office for a second term of four years.
Eagles Square, venue of the inauguration, was full to capacity despite the Federal Government’s position that it would be low key.

Buhari, 76, was sworn in for a second term at the Eagle Square, Abuja alongside Osinbajo.

 

The oath of office was administered by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad at the colourful ceremony, which had all the fanfare including the traditional 21 gun salute, but was devoid of the usual acceptance speech and the presence of former presidents and heads of state, except General Yakubu Gowon.

The opposition Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) said by failing to address Nigerians, President Buhari turned the inauguration to a parody.

But Presidency source has given reasons why President Buhari did not give an inauguration speech.

The source said the president will deliver speech at the forthcoming Democracy Day on June 12.

The Federal Government had shifted major events for the president’s inauguration to June 12.

 

The source, who spoke anonymously, said the president’s inaugural speech was not meant for the swearing in.

The oath-taking was followed by the lowering and hoisting of the National and Defence flag by the Guard of Honour, signalling the end of an era and the commencement of a new one.

The Christian opening prayer was said by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd Samson Ayokunle, while the Murshid of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci led the Muslim prayer.

Dignitaries who attended the ceremony included the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), members of the National Assembly, members of the Judiciary, the outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police.

There were also members of the business community led by Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Femi Otedola, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, the clergy, among others.

The Christian opening prayer was said by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd Samson Ayokunle, while the Murshid of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci led the Muslim prayer.

Meanwhile, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri and the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, have predicted that the fight against corruption will receive robust attention during the second term of President Buhari.

Waziri said the nation was making a mistake thinking it was the responsibility of the anti-corruption bodies alone.

She added that it is the synergy between the anti-corruption agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, NFIU, the courts, the Police and members of the public that can rid the country of corruption.

“They are the witnesses in cases that go to court. The Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), it is a total thing that we say look, enough is enough, we want our country to…we don’t want this toga of corruption. So, it is a total war. One section can’t succeed at all,” Waziri noted.

In a separate interview, Obono-Obla said the recovery of public assets would move to the next level.

“It will go to the next level of assets recovery. Full blast! No sacred cows. Whoever has taken what does not belong to him, but belongs to the people of Nigeria, should willingly surrender voluntarily. Otherwise, the full force of the law will be unleashed,” Obono-Obla said.

Permanent Secretary, Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, assured that the civil service would do everything possible to ensure that the president takes the country to the next level.

“The civil servants will work assiduously to implement all the policies and programmes that will be rolled out to move this nation to the next level,” Ehuriah said.

For Senator Ameh Ebute, having been in the saddle for sometime, President Buhari had learnt his mistakes, if there were any, and will do better in his second term.

Also, Obot Godswill Akpabio assured Nigerians that President Buhari would not just perform well in his second term, but will take Nigeria to the next level.

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi said the most striking aspect of the Buhari administration is his disdain for corruption.

“He started well and my only concern is about corruption. No other massacre in the world is worse than corruption. And this leader stands out saying this is what I want.

“Yes, he will have chiefs or other people that have been in the game of corruption before, but when a leader stands out and say this is what I want, this is my path, he is the leader, people will tend to move forward.

“So, we have never seen a leader that has done that. Murtala tried, it was only for six months. Buhari is the next one that tried after him. And Buhari has been sustaining what he has been saying,” Oba Akanbi said.

The post Buhari in ‘no speech’ inauguration appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

 

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Why JJ Okocha is being rearrested?

LAGOS – Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, on Tuesday, renewed a warrant of arrest against a former Super Eagles captain, Augustine Jay-Jay Okocha, over alleged tax evasion.
The judge, like she did at the last adjourned date on April 15, renewed a warrant for Okocha’s arrest following reports from the counsel representing Lagos State Government that he was yet to liquidate his alleged tax debt owed the Lagos State.

 

The government’s lawyer, Mrs. Y. A. Pitan, told Justice Akintoye that Okocha had visited the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) office but failed to settle the 2017 income tax evasion charge out of court.
The warrant was originally made on January, 2019.

 

Like in previous proceedings, Okocha was neither in court nor represented by a lawyer when the case was called.
Pitan informed the court of steps the prosecution had taken to effect the arrest warrant.
“The LIRS informed us that the defendant (Okocha) visited their office. He went there to reconcile accounts. He hasn’t settled yet,” she said.

 

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Federal government declares May 29 public holiday

The federal government has declared Wednesday, May 29, as work-free day to mark the 2019 presidential inauguration.

This was announced in a statement by the permanent secretary at the interior ministry, Georgina Ehuriah.

According to Ms Ehuriah, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who made the declaration on behalf of the federal government, congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his re-election and Nigerians for the successful conduct of the 2019 elections.

He called on Nigerians to support the policies and programmes of the in-coming administration which he said: “are all geared towards the improvement of the lives of the citizens, as well as the unity, growth and development of the Nation, as it moves to the next level.”

“He expressed confidence that with the collaboration of all Nigerians, the Nation would be transformed in the next four years to a country that would be the envy of other Nations.”

The minister wished the “incoming administration a most fulfilling tenure and Nigerians a memorable Presidential Inauguration Day.”

Although the presidential inauguration will hold on May 29, a more elaborate event is scheduled for June 12 which has now been designated as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.

 

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Federal government declares May 29 public holiday

U20 World Cup:How Flying Eagles refused to fly.

Nigeria vs USA ended in a 2-0 victory for the Americans as they got their campaign back on track

  • Sebastian Soto scored in both half of the match to give his side a crucial win over the Nigerian side

  • The Flying Eagles remain second in Group D with goal-difference as Ukraine go top with two wins

Nigeria vs United States ended in a 2-0 win for the Americans as the Flying Eagles lose their first game in Group D at the ongoing U-20 World Cup in Poland.

It was United States who got up and running in the 18th minute as Alex Mendez’s corner was well met by Sebastian Soto who was clearly unmarked in the 18-yard area. 1-0 it was to the Americans.

Son of Liberian president and PSG star Timothy Weah was set clear with a through ball having only the keeper to beat but Olawale Oremade produced a fine save to keep Nigeria in the match.

It should have been 2-0 in the 23rd minute as the Nigerian side failed to clear their lines properly giving the US team a scrambled goal but the VAR ruled out the goal for an offside.

Early substitute Aniekeme Okon forced a magnificent save from the American keeper Bard Scott in the 38th minute after coming on for Manchester City’s Tom Dele-Bashiru.

Things got better for the Flying Eagles as Kingsley Michael’s shot hit the woodwork in 40th minute but Nigeria still trailed by 1-0.

Jamil Muhammad also tested the goalkeeper in the 42nd minute by straight into the hands of Scott who was brilliant on the night. The first ended in favour the Americans in the highly entertaining fixture in Group D.

Just from the blast of the second half whistle, Soto doubled the lead for the United States as the move started straight from kick-off and Konrad de la Fuente with the final pass for the Hannover striker who applied a brilliant finish to make it 2-0.

 

Four minutes after the hour mark Mark McKenzie barged into Michael as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty for the Flying Eagles but the VAR unfortunately Henry Offia before the foul was committed.

Paul Aigbogun’s side could not find the back of the net as the Americans went away with a comfortable 2-0 win.

It almost went bad to worse for Nigeria as substitute was shown a yellow after the VAR reviewed his tackle from behind on Paxton Pomykal.

The Flying Eagles are now second in Group D with goal-difference after Ukraine go top following win over Qatar in the other match.

Nigeria and Ukraine will play the last group match which will decide their fate group while the US will slug it out with Qatar who are yet to earn a point.

 

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How Bahraini took over Nigerian race.

Fikadu Dawit, a Bahraini athlete, on Saturday won the seventh edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race at Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.

Dawit emerged the winner of the race’s 2019 edition with a time of 29 minutes three seconds to claim the 20,000 dollars prize money.
Berehanu Tsegu from Ethiopia came second, returning after 29 mins four secs for a 13,000 dollars cash prize.
John Lotiang of Kenya was third with 29 mins 17 secs for a 9,000 dollars prize money.

 

Dawit who won the male category tagged “Elite men athletes’’ said he was very delighted to have emerged the overall winner of the competition.

Lliya Mwanta from Kenya won the elite female athletes category with 33 mins 14secs and was followed by Tuitoek Jepchir from Kenya who returned 33 mins 18secs.

Kasegn Asefa from Ethiopia emerged third with 33 mins 31 secs.

The winner of the female elite category was awarded 20,000 dollars and the second-placed athlete 13,000 dollars, while the third place winner got 9,000 dollars.

The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, who also participated in the Very Important Person category, commended the organisers of the competition for the improvement.

Also speaking, Edo’s Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, applauded the organisers for their efforts in trying to upgrade the competition to a gold medal event.

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Bahraini athlete wins Okpekpe 10km road race

 

 

Why Bayelsa Government appoints GEJ?

Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson has on Friday, May 24, appointed former president Goodluck Jonathan as honorary special adviser on the Bayelsa Education Trust Fund Board.
Speaking at the formal launching of the trust fund in Yenagoa, Dickson appealed to Jonathan to use his influence to attract donations to the fund.
He said: “Let me commend our leader, the former president for his educational strides during his time as the governor of this state, he laid the solid foundation for our educational system that is why I have the honour to appoint him as the honorary special adviser to oversee the collection of donations for the education trust fund.
‘With this appointment, he will sit on the board of Bayelsa state education development trust fund, as a former teacher, an educationist; he has enough experience to drive the board.”

 

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Goodluck Jonathan was in Johannesburg ahead of South Africa’s national and provincial elections.
Jonathan who led the Election Observation Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) disclosed this on his Twitter handle.

 

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