The Punch

I didn’t harass Mo Bimpe, I only wooed her

–Yomi Fabiyi

- Mobola Sadiq

CN addition to the 1130 looted artefacts expected from Germany, the Federal Government says it will soon take possession of other stolen antiquitie­s from the United states of America and scotland in october. the Minister of Informatio­n and culture, Alhaji lai Mohammed, made this known at a press briefing in lagos on saturday. He said the federal government was making progress in its efforts to repatriate looted smuggled artefacts from around the world.

He said, “In March 2021, the University of Aberdeen in scotland agreed to return a Benin Bronze from its collection­s. We shall take possession of this in october this year. We have also secured a date in october 2021 for the repatriati­on of antiquitie­s from the Metropolit­an Museum in New York.

“these antiquitie­s consist of two important

Benin Bronzes and an exquisite Ife Bronze head.’’ News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister said the developmen­t formed parts of the successes recorded by the campaign he launched in November 2019 for the return and restitutio­n of Nigeria’s looted/smuggled artefacts from around the world. the minister recalled that in october 2020, the Netherland­s returned a highly-valued 600-year-old

Ife terracotta while Mexico returned a bronze piece in April 2021.

According to him, “the University of cambridge in the United Kingdom has also agreed to return a disputed Benin artefact.

“We will soon commence the procedure for the repatriati­on of this highly-valued piece,’’ he added. Mohammed said the country “is currently before the Intergover­nmental committee for Promoting the return of cultural Property to it countries of origin or its restitutio­n in case of Illicit Appropriat­ion in Paris.”

He said a claim was instituted before the committee against a Belgian who wanted to auction an Ife Bronze head valued at 5 million Dollars. the minister said that the Ife Bronze antiquity had been seized by the london Metropolit­an Police, pending the decision on who the true owner was.

According to the minister, the most remarkable progress in the quest to repatriate looted artefacts was recorded in Germany on the repatriati­on of 1,130 Benin Bronzes to the country.

“As you are aware, I recently led a high-level Nigerian delegation to Berlin, Germany, to iron out the modalities for the repatriati­on.

“the negotiatio­ns were tough but fruitful and have agreed that there is no going back on the issue of returning the Benin Bronzes.’’ the minister said the agreement for repatriati­on of the artefacts should be signed in December while the repatriati­on should be concluded by August 2022. ontroversi­al actor and filmmaker, Yomi Fabiyi, has been in the eye of the storm for some time.

Last week, the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practition­ers Associatio­n of Nigeria suspended the actor indefinite­ly over a film he produced titled, ‘Oko Iyabo.’ The movie is believed to be about the allegation of sexual harassment of a minor levelled against another actor, Olanrewaju Omidina, aka Baba Ijesha.

Amidst all that, an actress, Bimpe Oyebade, aka Mo Bimpe, alleged that Fabiyi stopped casting her in movies because she refused to give in to his advances.

However, in an interview with Sunday Scoop, Fabiyi stated that being an actor did not mean that he could not have romantic feelings. He said, “How did she get a major role in one of my movies? She never came to me to learn about movies; she did not do any audition. I had already concluded my audition. She came to me as a fan and I decided to encourage her.” Fabiyi also maintained that Mo Bimpe was the one who wronged him. He said, “She knows what she did that made me change towards her. I am an adult and I am free to be sexually attracted to anybody. At least, I am thankful to God that she never said I forced her. There is nothing that says that she has automatic roles (in my movies). I do not know the kind of entitlemen­t she has to think she can always feature in my movies. I will take time to explain what she did.

“The first thing she did that made me change towards her was that I brought her into the industry in 2015 and on the last day of the movie shoot in 2015, she left and I did not set my eyes on her until January 2019.

“In between that, she had shot three movies. I do not know the kind of relationsh­ip she built with my sponsor, production manager and cinematogr­apher. All I just heard was that she was planning a production behind me. What an audacity. “I brought her into the industry because I wanted her to be great and known. I wanted her to have a career, so, why was she cutting corners? At the end of day, she called to tell me that she had a job for me. I told her that the person she gave the job, she knew him through me because he was my production manager. That was why I cut that person off from my production forever. “She hijacked all my ‘backbones’ without consulting me. If she had asked me, I would not have stopped her. Why are you stealing what is yours? Several other things transpired but she can continue to tie it around the fact that she did not give in to my sexual advances.” The actor also noted that sexual attraction was different from sexual harassment. He added, “Ask her if she made sexual advances to me and not vice versa. I did not notice her first. She was the one that noticed me. Besides, if we did make advances at each other, we are both adults. The most important thing is that there was no force. Do not make it look like because I am an actor, I do not have a right to have emotions or sexual feelings. “Sexual attraction is different from sexual harassment. We need to educate these young people. We are talking about sexual harassment and she is talking about ‘toasting’. Is that not silly?”

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria