The third quarter of 2024 was marked by a series of noteworthy events and trending stories, much like the preceding months. April, in particular, witnessed a surge in captivating narratives, making it challenging to determine which viral stories deserved inclusion in this article. Attempting to cover all the newsworthy events would result in an excessively lengthy piece. Nevertheless, we have compiled a selection of the most significant stories from the past month, ranging from the recurring presence of Bobrisky, to instances of corruption among government officials, and even a revived beef between two artists that was previously believed to have been resolved.

Here is your monthly recap of the latest trending news from April 2024.

Bobrisky (Again)

After his attention-grabbing appearance and winning the best-dressed female award at the premiere of the movie “Ajanaku: Beast of Two Worlds,” popular crossdresser and trans influencer Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky, continued to make headlines. This time, he faced legal trouble as he was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a six-count charge for the abuse of the Nigerian currency, the Naira.

The court accused Bobrisky of tampering with Naira notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria. One instance cited was when he sprayed a total sum of N400,000 at the iMax Circle Mall in Jakande, Lekki, on March 24, 2024. Additionally, the court stated that between July and August 2023, Bobrisky tampered with N50,000 while dancing at a social event in Aja Junction, lkorodu. It was also revealed that in December 2023, he sprayed N20,000 at the White Steve Event Hall in Ikeja during another social event. Furthermore, Bobrisky was found guilty of tampering with another N20,000 during a social event in 2022 at the Event Hall in Oniru, Victory Island.

The court deemed Bobrisky’s actions as offences contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007. However, two of the charges were dropped, and as a first-time offender, Bobrisky pleaded guilty to the abuse of the Naira while appealing for mercy.

On April 9, Bobrisky was sentenced to six months in the Ikoyi Correctional Center. Netizens reacted to the news, particularly as Bobrisky was seen departing for prison with designer luggage. Actress Eniola Ajao, a well-known supporter of Bobrisky, called for mercy for the influencer.

In response to his arrest, infamous Nigerian critic and social commentator VeryDarkMan took to social media to claim credit for Bobrisky’s arrest. However, upon closer examination, these claims seemed unfounded, as Bobrisky’s legal troubles were a result of his own actions rather than any direct involvement by VeryDarkMan.

“Establish” Becomes Latest Trend

In April, a viral TikTok challenge took social media by storm. The origin of the challenge remains unclear, but the accompanying audio, which goes like “Esther was black and broke, but when Esther sees money, establish,” gained significant popularity, particularly on TikTok. The trend involved users sharing before-and-after pictures, often attempting to showcase their transformation and increased attractiveness over time. It became a widespread phenomenon, with many individuals (especially women) participating and sharing their own versions of the challenge on various social media platforms.

Junior Pope Dies in Horrific Boat Crash

Junior Pope, also known as Johnpaul Obumneme Odonwodo, was a renowned Nollywood actor celebrated for his roles in numerous movies. Tragically, he passed away on April 10, 2024, leaving the entertainment industry in shock and mourning.

The circumstances surrounding Junior Pope’s death were related to a boat accident. He, along with three other actors, was on their way to a movie location when their boat capsized. Regrettably, all four actors lost their lives in the incident, creating a devastating loss for the industry.

In a poignant Instagram video, Junior Pope was seen on the boat without a life jacket, making a plea to the captain to proceed with caution. He emphasised that he had three children to raise, shedding light on the risks and sacrifices actors undertake to bring joy to their audiences.

Initially, there was confusion and conflicting reports about Junior Pope’s condition. The National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, posted that Junior Pope was alive and receiving treatment. However, it later became clear that this was a misunderstanding, and sadly, Junior Pope did not survive the accident.

Junior Pope’s untimely demise has left a significant void in the Nigerian film industry. He had showcased his talent in movies such as “Secret Adventures,” “Eye of the Eagle,” “Bitter Generation,” “Wrong Initiation,” and “Honey Money,” among others. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family as they navigate through this challenging time.

Cubana Chief Priest vs EFCC

Bobrisky wasn’t the only celebrity who came under the scrutiny of the EFCC. In April, Cubana Chief Priest, a popular Instagram celebrity, was tracked down and apprehended by the EFCC on suspicion of money laundering. Later, he was arraigned on three counts of “abuse of the national currency” for allegedly spraying and stamping on naira notes at a social gathering.

Following the arraignment, Cubana Chief Priest and the EFCC decided to pursue an out-of-court settlement, which received court approval on June 5th, 2024. The specific details of the settlement were kept confidential. Unlike Bobrisky, Cubana Chief Priest did not plead guilty to any of the charges.

The charges against Cubana Chief Priest arose from a viral video circulating on social media that showed him spraying and stamping on naira notes. Such actions are deemed criminal offenses under the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, which prohibits the defacement, mutilation, and spraying of the naira.

Yahaya Bello vs EFCC

Celebrities were not the only ones who faced scrutiny from the EFCC. Former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, found himself in the news due to allegations made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC accused him of being involved in money laundering activities, which involved a substantial amount of money.

According to the allegations, Yahaya Bello is said to be linked to money laundering totaling approximately N80.2 billion. This accusation put him under the spotlight and raised serious concerns regarding his financial activities.

The former governor was scheduled to be arraigned on April 18, 2024, before a Federal High Court in Abuja. The charges brought against him include counts of conspiracy to convert funds, with the EFCC claiming that the funds in question are proceeds from unlawful activities.

In response to the allegations, Yahaya Bello vehemently denied the claims regarding the payment of school fees for his children. He labelled the accusations as false and misleading, refuting any involvement in illegal financial practices.

The situation surrounding Yahaya Bello and the EFCC’s allegations has sparked some controversy. Public figures, including Dele Momodu, have criticised the EFCC, suggesting that the agency may have misfired in its case against Bello. These criticisms further contribute to the complexity and public interest surrounding the matter.

Chess Record Broken

In April, Nigerian chess player Tunde Onakoya made headlines by breaking the world record for the longest marathon chess game. He played chess continuously for an astonishing 60 hours in Times Square, New York City. Despite battling a “debilitating” illness resulting from a botched vaccination, Onakoya achieved this remarkable feat.

His marathon chess game not only established a new world record but also aimed to raise awareness and generate funds for chess education programs benefiting millions of children through his non-profit organisation, Chess in Slums Africa.

The previous record of 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds was set by Norwegian players Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018. Onakoya’s extraordinary accomplishment received widespread acclaim in Nigeria and around the world. He garnered support from the Nigerian community and received recognition from notable figures like Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido. It is a truly inspiring story of resilience and unwavering dedication to a noble cause.

Veteran Actor Zulu Igwe Passes On

In April, the Nigerian film industry experienced another loss with the passing of veteran Nollywood actor Zulu Adigwe. Just a little over a month after the deaths of veteran actors Mr. John Okafor, also known as Mr. Ibu, and Sisi Quadri, Zulu Adigwe’s departure left a void in the hearts of many. He was widely recognized for his exceptional performances and his portrayal of fatherly characters in numerous films.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, Zulu Adigwe passed away at the age of 69. His remarkable work in popular movies such as “Living in Bondage” and “Breaking Free” earned him recognition and accolades. Additionally, he made a lasting impression with his iconic role as Mr. B in the sitcom “Basi and Company.” His contributions to the Nigerian film industry will be cherished and remembered with great fondness.

As we bid farewell to Zulu Adigwe, may his soul find eternal peace.

Fuel Scarcity in Lagos and Other States

Fuel scarcity has been a pressing issue in Lagos and other states in Nigeria. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) attributed the recent fuel scarcity to logistical issues and ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa, which have caused access road challenges. This has led to long queues and price hikes at available fuel stations.

The NNPC has assured that they have a national petrol stock of over 2 billion litres, which is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency. They have increased product loading, including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide.

Despite these efforts, as of April 30, fuel shortages persist across Nigeria, including Abuja and Lagos. The NNPC has called on Nigerians to refrain from panic buying and is working with various industry stakeholders to restore normalcy as soon as possible. It remains unclear how long the shortage may last, but related protests are increasingly possible if fuel scarcity persists.

Davido vs Wizkid

Tension has always existed between two of Nigeria’s biggest Afrobeat stars, Davido and Wizkid, who are arguably the biggest African acts. However, in the final days of April, things reached a boiling point. The dispute between the two musicians originated when a fan asked Wizkid on social media when he would be releasing his next album. Wizkid, seemingly jokingly (or so we thought), responded to the fan’s request by sharing a humiliating video of Davido begging on his knees. This video had been released earlier in the year by a random US model. Davido, understandably, was not pleased with the video, and a heated exchange of words, insults, and name-calling ensued on social media, particularly on Twitter.

During the altercation, insults such as “pantwasher” and “wife beater” were thrown around between Davido and Wizkid. Fans of both artists also got involved in the beef, taking sides and supporting their favourite artist. It turned into an online war between Wizkid’s fans, known as “Wizkid FC,” and Davido’s fans, known as “30BG.” Even infamous social commentator and celebrity critic seemed to have picked a side, favouring Davido over Wizkid.

While many fans fiercely supported their chosen artist and engaged in mudslinging against fans of the rival camp, there were others who chose to remain neutral and enjoy the insults and banter as a form of entertainment. It became a spectacle for them to observe.

Interestingly, amidst the Davido-Wizkid feud, well-known artist Teni jokingly asked who would engage in a beef with her online, further adding to the humorous side of the situation.

The incident between Davido and Wizkid occurred just hours before the birthday of Davido’s significant other, Chioma. While the commotion between the Nigerian music giants was unfolding, Kizz Daniel and Tekno also decided to ignite their own beef, but it seemed that nobody paid much attention to it.

Intriguingly, we had previously written an article comparing both artists. If you’re curious, you can check it out here.

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