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Fox Says Jussie Smollett Was Not Fired From Empire, While Chicago PD Dismisses Reports of 'Staged' Attack

The Chicago Police Department says that media reports of Jussie Smollett staging the racist and homophobic attack he allegedly sustained last month are unconfirmed, while Fox has refuted a claim that the Empire star had been fired, thus precipitating the alleged hoax.

ABC Chicago reporter Rob Elgas tweeted on Thursday that “multiple sources” believe that Smollett and his two assailants orchestrated the headline-making crime, allegedly because his character, Jamal, was being written out of Empire. Another Chicago reporter, CBS’ Charlie De Mar, said that two persons of interest whose home was raided by police previously appeared as extras on the Fox drama.

Chicago PD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi, however, issued a statement on Thursday saying,
“Media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. [Superintendent] Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate.”
Supt. Johnson told ABC Chicago that Smollett “is considered a victim and the police investigation is ongoing.”

Empire producer 20th Century Fox Television, meanwhile, issued a statement undercutting the motive for any alleged hoax, saying,
“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
Smollett sought treatment at a hospital in Chicago, where Empire is filmed, following his alleged late-January attack, in which two men supposedly approached the actor/singer and began hurling racist and homophobic slurs at him. According to the original account, the two men beat Smollett, poured a chemical substance (believed to be bleach) on him and tied a noose around his neck before fleeing the scene. Smollett also told police that the assailants “yelled pro-‘Make America Great Again’ [MAGA] comments” during the attack.

Smollett performed at an L.A. concert days after the attack, and appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America this Thursday morning to give his account of the incident, saying that he’s been “forever changed” by it.

TV Line
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Zimbabwe could run out of bread in a week after flour stocks dwindled due to the country’s failure to pay for imported wheat, according to a confidential letter written to bakers by the country’s grain millers’ group on Monday.

The country is in the grip of a severe shortage of U.S. dollars that has sapped supplies of fuel and drugs, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa struggles to live up to pre-election promises to quickly revive the troubled economy.

Zimbabwe imports wheat, which it blends with its local crop to make flour for bread, the country’s second major staple after maize meal.

The Grain Millers Association (GMAZ) general manager Lynette Veremu wrote to the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) to tell them the country has not paid for 55,000 tonnes of wheat in bonded warehouses in Mozambique and Harare.
“We regret to advise that the current stocks for foreign wheat for bread flour have depleted to 5,800 tonnes and … we are left with less than eight days of national bread flour supplies,” the letter said.
GMAZ spokesman Garikai Chaunza confirmed the letter, saying “this is the situation we are faced with”.

Ngoni Mazango, the president of the bakers’ group, was not immediately available to comment.

The central bank lists wheat among priority imports like fuel and drugs, but has struggled to pay suppliers in the past. GMAZ said in December it owed foreign suppliers $80 million for past wheat imports.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya did not answer calls to his mobile phone.
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The All Progressives Congress said it is bothered by the leaked security report of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) plan to deploy $111 million for vote-buying across the states under the pretense of “logistics” during the General Elections.

APC said the plan raises new fears ahead of the forthcoming polls.
“It is now clear that the PDP has no plans to win the elections through legitimate votes, but through illegally procured votes”, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC national publicity secretary said.
“Again, in the aftermath of the configured card readers recently recovered from PDP agents in some states, the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has gone to town with face-saving conspiracies that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has imported slow-working card readers from China which will be deployed to the South-South and South East which Atiku considers his “stronghold”.
“Atiku also alleges a plan to shut down communication on Election Day. How illogical that a party that is in a contest with clear superior numerical support would shut down communication on Election Day. Will the communication shutdown affect only the PDP while leaving APC supporters and agents? Nigerians can see through the infantile lies.
“Nigerians will recall that the APC had earlier reported the PDP’s plot before last Saturday’s postponed elections. The recent arrest of several armed PDP political thugs and recovery of INEC card readers and arms from PDP agents in some states points directly to the PDP’s plan as revealed by the security report.
“Atiku has called on the president to retract his instruction to security agencies regarding violence, ballot box thieves, and other electoral malpractices. The question is how such instruction disturbs anyone that is truly interested in free, fair and credible elections.
“We reiterate the resolution of the Monday’s meeting of the APC expanded National Caucus which urged the security agencies to step up their activities by ensuring that all those involved in violence, ballot box snatching, falsification of results, vote-buying and other election illegalities should face the full weight of the law. It is a shame that PDP is kicking against this. We are not surprised because PDP has marshaled plans to get to power by all means possible. The option of one man one vote is not on the PDP’s table.
“Atiku has admitted what we already know that he is not popular by claiming he has two geopolitical zones while the APC has the four other geopolitical zones. On Election Day, Atiku and the PDP should prepare for the shock of their lives.
The South-South and South East are not oblivious of the unprecedented developmental achievements recorded in the zones under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, compared to the PDP’s wasted years. The good people of the South South, South East and indeed all the geopolitical zones will speak through their legitimate votes, not the procured ballots planned by the PDP.
“The PDP’s illegal plot requires improved surveillance by our security agencies particularly the Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and allied agencies to check illicit financial flows and movement in the lead-up to and on Election Day.
“On INEC’s part, following the unfortunate last-minute postponement of the election, the electoral body must realize that it has a lot to prove to the Nigerian electorate that it is still able to conduct credible elections. A first step will be that the electoral body identifies and change its officers who have now beyond doubt become partisan and are actively working for partisan interests.
“Finally, PDP Tuesday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has achieved only one thing: Atiku and PDP sank into a new low of rudeness and incivility. They showed acute disrespect to the office of the President with the choice of words employed. This is the same office they intend to occupy”.
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The Department of State Services has issued a disclaimer for former director-general Lawal Daura who was sacked last year, after mounting a blockade of the National Assembly.

In a rare statement on Tuesday by spokesman Peter Afunanya, the secret service agency warned that 
“any person or group that further engages him or his representatives/associates does so at their own peril”.
The service also debunked notions that Daura still remotely controlled its affairs.
“The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to insinuations and wide speculations that its former Director General, Alhaji Lawal Musa DAURA mni, still controls affairs at the Agency, long after his removal from Office.
“While the Service debunks this false belief, it warns that any person or group that further engages him or his representatives/associates does so at their own peril.
“The Service will not tolerate acts of impersonation designed to undermine it and will decisively deal with person(s), no matter how highly placed, that may engage in such behavior. The public should, therefore, note this and avoid circumstances under which unsuspecting persons may be deceived.
“On the other hand, the DSS continues to recommit itself to the core values of professionalism, selflessness, vigilance and the rule of law that it has always been identified with”.
Daura was sacked ignominiously on August 7 last year by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, after sending hooded servicemen to block the National Assembly, an action that provoked national and international outrage.

Daura, 65 years old, was appointed by President Buhari on July 2, 2015.

President Buhari later appointed in September 2018, Yusuf Magaji Bichi as Daura’s replacement.
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Princess Kemi Adesanya-Eboda,  has donated souvenirs and food items to the support groups of the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar in Lagos.

Adesanya-Eboda is the South West Zonal Coordinator, Office of the Special Assistant on Youths and Support Groups for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

While presenting the items, Adesanya-Eboda said the donations were part of her personal contribution to ginger and mobilize the teeming support groups in Lagos for Atiku’s 2019 presidential bid.

The coordinator, who is also the National Chairperson for the Coalition of Like-Minds for Atiku 2019, as well as the National President/Global Coordinator of the Women and Youths Support Group (W.A.Y.S) for Atiku, appealed to the groups to remain focused.

Adesanya-Eboda, who gave the charge during the ceremony at the PDP secretariat in Lagos, further charged supporters of Atiku/Obi presidency not to despair or waiver in their support.
“I am extremely pleased with your turnout today to support Atiku, and I can assure you if you vote Atiku as the next president of this country, you will never regret it because he will deliver on all his promises.
“I have in my own personal capacity as the Support Groups South West Coordinator, decided to support you with some souvenirs and food items on behalf of Atiku, to encourage you to remain focused and not to despair,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the souvenirs and food items included branded exercise books, pens, bags, T-shirts, face-caps, wrist-watches, slippers, reflective jackets, noodles, salt, among other items.

The groups, in separate messages, commended the SA for the kind gesture and support.

According to them, she has continuously demonstrated her unflinching love for every supporter of Atiku.

They praised her as a dogged grassroots woman who knew how to mobilize and carry everyone along.

Others hailed her leadership qualities and described her as a round peg in a round hole; that had fully acquainted herself with the entire southwest to deliver the zone for Atiku in the coming presidential election.

They reassured her of their unflinching support and readiness to ensure that Atiku emerged victorious in the election.

Those who attended the event included the PDP Governorship Candidate of Lagos State, Mr Jimi Agbaje and his running mate, Mrs Halima Busari.

Agbaje urged the groups to keep the fire burning until victory was achieved to “get Nigeria working again’’.
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Hollywood Actor Jussie Smollett Slammed For Allegedly Paying Nigerian Friends To Stage Homophobic Attack

American actor, Jussie Smollett’s role in Empire, an American series movie, has been slashed following ‘staged’ homophobic attack scandal.

Empire’ writers are reportedly busy making edits in the original script, which scheduled Smollett for nine scenes and a big musical number, according to TMZ.

The medium further reported that Jussie’s character, “Jamal, was originally scheduled to appear in nine scenes and a big musical number in the second to the last episode, but this would no longer be the case.
“The episodes which are currently being shot will see Jamal appearing in four scenes and his musical number has been taken out of the plot.
“It was also reported that Smollett will no longer be the main focus in the remaining four scenes as he would be flanked by a number of cast members.
“To this end, Jussie will be spending way less time on set without rehearsal,’’ it said.
It was also reported that Smollett, who plays the role of ‘Jamal Lyon’ in ‘Empire,’ will enjoy less screen time.

This move, TMZ reports, is in the wake of a growing sentiment that he staged the widely reported attack on him.

COLOSSUS GISTS recalls that Smollett was assaulted in Chicago by two men who hurled racial and homophobic words at him.

Smollett told police that he had just landed in town from New York and was attacked as he stepped out to eat at a Subway restaurant around 2 a.m on the East North Lower Water Street, in the upscale neighborhood of Streeterville.

However, there are reports that two Nigerian brothers, Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, might have been paid off by Smollett to stage the attack.

The brothers were arrested on February 13, 2019, in connection with the case.

They were picked up at the airport in Chicago after they arrived from Nigeria where they had gone to spend some time with their family.

Interestingly, the brothers have been released with no charges as the police revealed there is now new evidence as one of the brothers was Smollett’s trainer for a music video.

Smollett has also vehemently denied paying the two brothers $3,500 to attack him.

His lawyers, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, disclosed to Entertainment Weekly that the star is now being victimised over the false allegations of him staging the incident.
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The Customs officer standing over the dead man
Nigeria Customs Service has tendered apology for the life of a Nigerian killed on Sunday at Sagamu interchange, Ogun State.

The Customs, in a press release issued from the office of the Comptroller-General, through the office of the Public Relation Office also promised to investigate and bring all officers involved in the killing to book.

Read full release:

Following the unfortunate incident on Sunday 17th February 2019 at Shagamu Interchange involving Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, which led to the death of a fellow citizen, Mr. Godwin Agada Onoja, the Nigeria Customs Service has continued to maintain close contact with the bereaved family.

We are pained by this sad development and share the grief of losing a fellow compatriot in a seemingly avoidable circumstance. We are and will continue to take every necessary step that will cushion the pain associated with losing a dear one.

Consequently, the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has directed a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with the view to ensuring that justice is served. In line with this directive, the investigation panel headed by the Zonal Coordinator Zone A, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie has interrogated and detained four members of the patrol team.

The panel could not immediately conclude the investigation because the actual officer (ASCI Destiny Onebamho) whose riffle discharged is presently receiving medical attention as a result of attack following the unfortunate incident. He will face the panel as soon as he is fit to do so, to enable the panel to conclude the investigation and recommend appropriate action(s).

NCS is a reputable organization known for integrity and responsibility. In line with our corporate values, we will not shield any operative found wanting in this ongoing investigation. The Service appreciates the public concern and strong emotions drawn from the viral video with narratives that created various opinions.

Nigerians will recall that in 2017, the Service made public its investigation and dismissal of five (5) officers implicated in the illegal release of the 661-pump action rifles from Apapa Port. The dismissed officers were immediately handed over for prosecution alongside the importer and agent. A prosecution that is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos.

In the same vein, the ongoing investigation will be holistic including looking at the weapon handling skills and actions that must be taken by the Service to possibly prevent future occurrence.

We will continue to update the public details of every action taken in the handling of this unfortunate incident.

DC Joseph Attah,
Public Relations Officer,
For: Comptroller-General of Customs
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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has practically vindicated the APC claim that the opposition was working with some officials of Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) to compromise the Presidential election.

Oshiomhole who addressed newsmen on Tuesday evening said it is clear that the only mission of the PDP candidate is creating confusion in the electoral system so that he will become President even it means presiding over graves.

He said only those who want to deploy thugs to undermine the elections will oppose or find fault with the statement of the President aimed at discouraging thuggery during the election.

Oshiomhole said the attention of the international community at the moment is that elections across the world should be violent free and assured that the forthcoming elections will be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.

He says;
“It is only those who believe in thuggery that will find fault with the President’s directive. Is there anyone that would want to vote for thuggery? Is there any thug that is not armed. You cannot snatch ballot box without the aid of firearms. So, when the International community is talking about violence-free election, they are saying the election should be free of thuggery.
“You can see that the PDP is not at home with that because they imported thuggery, institutionalized it and have always fallen back on it as an instrument of rigging and to dominate the electorates. So, we debunk any attempt by Atiku to change the essence of the President’s statement.
”I believe the president spoke the kind of the average Nigerian who wants to go and vote and come home in peace without fear of being attacked. You know that thuggery is synonymous with violence and the world is unanimous that violence should be removed from the election. Atiku’s rejection exposes PDP for what they are. Their plans are to deploy thugs so that the election will be impossible or reduce voter turn out.
“To say that the APC Imported card readers are laughable and that the card readers have been deployed to the south south and southeast. The implication of this is, assuming it is true without conceding, it means that Atiku is working hand in hand with the ICT unit in INEC to know the kind of machines that are deployed to where.
“Recognizing that INEC is Independent, we are not able to know the kind of card readers INEC is deploying or where they were imported from. But if Atiku has all of these details, it can only mean that he is working hand in hand with people within INEC to know where machines are imported from and the fact that card readers can be programmed otherwise.
“We are not like stammers who look for a fight because they cannot win an argument. We believe that the electorates are ready to vote for us and we want those votes to take place in a free and fair atmosphere.
“I think that Nigerians should be United when it comes to the issue of a free and fair election. Our candidates also have the responsibility for peace and security of Nigerians. He has the duty to ensure that the life of the Nigerian electorate is protected as well as those of the observers. That is the responsibility of the commander in Chief.
“So, if Atiku finds fault in this, if anybody is pro thuggery, we are against thuggery and we are against violence. The International community should properly decode Atiku’s statement sling the president to withdraw his threat not against the electorates, but against would be thugs or merchants of violence.
“As far as I am concern, Atiku knows that he can’t win. In 2003 elections, he lost his base in Adamawa. He is on record to have procured a Senatorial seat for Prof. Jibrin Aminu. If he wants to go to court, I will meet him there and I will produce the first INEC documented report that announced the winners of those Senatorial seats.
“He also went on to rig the governorship election that was won by Hashidu in Gombe state. So, with Atiku as a leading player, Atiku has lost the election in Adamawa State and so, the fear of defeat is already down on him.
“We are ready for the elections and by the grace of God, Nigerians will vote for us and Atiku will remain a permanent presidential candidate which Nigerians never had.”
He said further that 
“This afternoon, we monitored the statement by the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus in which they tried to distort the message which of the President who reassured Nigerians that he has given appropriate directive to security agents to ensure that Saturday election is free and fair.
“from the response of the PDP Candidate, it is clear that they have already conceded defeat. First, he claimed that he has two strongholds which he identified as south south and southeast. That is not true because I come from the south south and we are not voting Atiku. We have since dismantled the PDP machine in Edo state and Edo is the heartbeat of the Nation.
“Even If you take the statement in its face value, if Atiku concedes that out of six geopolitical zones, he has support, not in his own zone, but south south and southeast, the voting population in these two zones are jot enough to deliver the presidency to any candidate in Nigeria.
“Every peace loving Nigerian and those who wish Nigeria well are speaking one common language of free, fair and violent free election. What the President said and we are proud that he has the courage to say it that he has asked security agents to create an enabling environment for Nigerians to out and vote without fear that thugs will attack them and that security agents are going to put thugs in check. No peace loving Nigerian can find fault with that.
“I think it does expose PDP for what they are. Atiku as Vice President to Obasanjo was there in 2003 when people were killed by thugs. In my election in 2007, three young men were shut down by PDP thugs at Oba Primary school. So, no responsible candidate will find fault with any pronouncement that tends to discourage thuggery in the coming elections.
“So, for a man who is aspiring to preside over Nigeria to seek protection for thuggery is uncalled for. He has already said he will grant amnesty to looters. I don’t think Nigerians have any basis to doubt that Atiku’s mission is to set Nigeria on fire so that he can become President, even If he will preside over a graveyard.
“By the special grace of God, this election will come and pass, Nigerians will vote, no one will be harmed, no one will be intimidated. We believe that the President was right to say that anyone who resorts to violence will be dealt with.”
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Mohammed Sani Abacha, son of late military head of state, Sani Abacha, has thrown his full weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari, for Saturday’s presidential election.

Mohammed Abacha, who is a governorship candidate of the Advance Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), in Kano State, stated his support for Buhari, former ally of his late father, less than 4 days to the election.

The All Progressives Congress, APC celebrated the news by sharing in on their handle on Tuesday evening – saying 4+4 is assured.

See tweet
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Qualification for the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League is still very much dicey for the quartet of Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Lyon, and Barcelona.

The first leg games involving the four teams ended in barren draws on Tuesday night.

Liverpool was left frustrated by German champions Bayern Munich at Anfield in a goalless first leg to their Champions League last-16 tie.

Goals were predicted on Merseyside in a battle between two five-time champions of this competition, but shots on target were few and far between on a night of little drama.

Joel Matip squandered the best opportunity of the match in the first half and Sadio Mane also came close on a couple of occasions, though the Reds could not find a breakthrough and now have a tough task in the reverse fixture in three weeks’ time

Each of Bayern Munich’s last three visits to Anfield in European competition have finished 0-0, with the Germans now having failed to score in all four of their away games against Liverpool.

Also, Tuesday’s game was Jurgen Klopp’s 30th meeting with Bayern Munich as manager – he has lost 16 of the previous 29 matches, more than against any other opponent.

In a similar fashion, Lyon and Barcelona played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their own last-16 Champions League clash in France on Tuesday night.

Both teams had opportunities to register during the 90 minutes, but the result means that the tie is delicately poised ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on March 13.
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The Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA) USA, has appealed for the release of Miss Leah Sharibu who was abducted in 2018 by a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

NIDO, in a statement by its Board Chairman, Ms Patience Key, said it was disheartening that Sharibu was still being held in captivity by the factional Boko Haram terrorist group after one year.
“NIDO remembers and is deeply saddened by the predicament of Leah Sharibu,” the statement said.
“We call on the Nigerian government, Nigerians and the international community to unequivocally and forcefully denounce the continued captivity of Leah Sharibu, and to do everything in their power to secure her unconditional release.”
NIDO condemned all forms of terrorist atrocities, and unequivocally denounced the practices of targeting schools and attacking children, it said.
“At no time and under no circumstance should a child, or any human being, ever be subjected to such brutal and inhumane violence and terror.
NIDO regretted that Feb. 19 marked one year that Sharibu had been held captive because of her refusal to renounce her faith.
“NIDOA USA, Nigeria and the international community must continue to insist on Leah Sharibu’s unconditional release, and ensure she returns and reunites with her heartbroken parents,” it noted.
The organization condemned the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and any group involved in the devaluation of life and rights of Nigerians.

Leah Sharibu was abducted on Feb. 19, 2018, alongside 109 other children by Boko Haram terrorists during an attack on the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe.
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The police command in Nasarawa State has confirmed the abduction of Alhaji Yakubu Dauda, Village Head of Sabon Gida-Barkin Kogi in Lafia Local Government Area by unidentified gunmen.

ASP Samaila Usman, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command confirmed the incident on Tuesday in Lafia.

According to him, the abductors came to the house, shot sporadically before whisking the village head away to an unknown destination.
“When the incident was reported, the Commissioner of Police Bola Longe, visited the village and directed his rescue.
“The search and rescue team comprising Police Mobile Force, Special Anti-Robbery Squad as well as local hunters and vigilante groups are combing the bushes around the area,” he said.
He said the police have also beefed up security in the area and all roads linking other villages and towns such as Assakio, Obi and Lafia.

He said the command would not relent until the victim was rescued, and the culprits arrested and brought to justice.
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Mulitalented singer Frank Sylva releases his much anticipated debut single "Oluwatise" a catchy thanksgiving Praise song.

Franklyn otuke sylvanus(was born in October 10).is a Nigeria contemporary Singer,song writer and recording artist,multi-instrumentalist,composer, music director.

He is from delta state,okpe isoko precisely. he holds a degree in music as a musicologist.frank sylva as popularly called is an inspired singer by God and he has affected and inspired many all over the world with his best selling single (OLUWATISE).

oluwatise was gotten at the altars of prayers in thanks giving to God.
MEANING: God has done it.

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Gift Dennis, a worship leader, songwriter, performing and Gospel recording minister releases another single titled "Able God" produced by Mr. EL.

In her words:
""Able God" is a song of warfare which reminds us that we can go into battle with our weapon of praise. There's power in praise. Try praising God with reckless abandon today and watch God come through for you! See: 2 Chronicles 20:21-22."

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Blaakstar - Bad Gang Ft. Tha Unpredikted.jpg
Plugg hauze presents another tune "Bad Gang" from its front act Blaakstar few weeks after the release of Daily. 

The song which features Tha Unpredikted Jesus, the owner of the platform is just another teaser to tell the fans what to expect from the act in a few weeks from now.