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The Mega-Rich Are Doing Some Serious Shopping at Art Basel Miami Beach



The Paradise Breaking News

MIAMI BEACH—It was not long before midnight when the fire maidens wearing crowns of burning torches danced out over the pool at the National Hotel to lightly feign fellatio. And, suddenly, you knew everything was going to be alright again.

At Art Basel Miami Beach, the Black-Friday-meets-spring-break of the art industry, COVID initially chilled the mood but not the sales, the crowds, and certainly not the weeklong event’s silly and sybaritic traditions. Now, in its 18th year, Art Basel (a catchall name for the scores of art and fashion events that surround the huge Swiss art fair and its museum-quality works every December) was, unbelievably, bigger and more upbeat than ever.

At the InList party Thursday, for the private global event and concierge service, a heavily tech crowd chatted about the last few months seeking sanctuary in the open air of Mykonos while the fire dancer’s thigh-high silver boots kicked spray into the air and Whitney Houston dance remixes blared. (You may find all this shallow, but don’t dial anyone in the 305 area code this week, because you will find no sympathy here. From super-rich collectors to hard-partying fledgling NFT artists to exhausted event planners, people were visibly relieved.)

It’s been a “breathless” week of buying at three different art fairs, says art collector Libbie Mugrabi, reached at her Miami home as she was frantically overseeing hanging of a Tracey Emin work in advance of a small dinner party Friday evening. This week, she purchased a Kenny Scharf piece for $95,000, the Emin from White Cube Gallery of London for “150k-ish—I love her!” And she says she has holds on two more Emin works). She also bought three works for her daughter at Scope Art Fair and two spiritual “Yin Yang” works by Chinese contemporary artist Linjie Deng.

I said I was shopping with $25,000 but would really have gone to $125,000. But what I wanted was gone. Didn’t see that coming.

Michael ‘Always’ Turner

Others were not so lucky. Michael “Always” Turner, a Boca Raton, Fla., sportswear store owner, says “I said I was shopping with $25,000 but would really have gone to $125,000. But what I wanted was gone. Didn’t see that coming.”

Over breakfast in South Beach, artist Laura Kimpton, who is known for her installations at Burning Man and has works on view at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, among other venues, happily bragged she sold one piece in a charity auction for $81,600. “I sold it to (Bitcoin pioneer) Brock Pierce, I guess I can say… He told me he bought it, in the back of an Uber…he won’t mind.” (The Daily Beast reached out to Pierce for comment.)

A lot of the “old guard” came to buy—including Barry Diller (Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC, parent company of The Daily Beast), Steve Wynn, mainstay Leonardo DiCaprio. Swizz Beatz and Pharrell Williams are in town, and are major art collectors, and Adam Levine snapped up a James Turrell in the Pace Gallery Booth, which was a total sellout at Art Basel.

At the rival Art Miami fair, actress Sofia Vergara bought a work by 10-year-old painter Andres Valencia, who fair director Nick Korniloff said was a breakout star at the event (with prices circling $10,000).

While this week was widely advertised as an NFT takeover of Art Basel by a whole new generation of artists creating pieces on the blockchain, the reality was a little less clear-cut.

Yes, two-hit-NFT wonder Beeple is down here talking at top museums, and the Gene Roddenberry estate is selling Star Trek NFTs injected into live-replicating bacteria, among other unlikely developments. There is a super hype-y Wild West energy that is fun to watch.

But Mugrabi notes that her first foray into buying NFT art resulted in money getting stolen out of her wallet. Artist Kimpton says, “NFTs have tremendous promise for artists. I sold 1000 pieces.” She has already had some of her her works minted and sold—but not by her. She’s had to contact an IP lawyer.

One partygoer, who attended Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel events here, and is an employee of one of those companies, noted, “My circle of, say, close 50 friends, nobody has an NFT yet. But they are buying (traditional) art.”

Pretty typical is NFT collector and cryptocurrency trader Nick Dailey, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who says he has spent “more than three eth or so”—nearly $14,000—on NFTs in the last few days on a trio of different platforms, “but I haven’t paid for a drink and a meal in days and I have art work that may go up.”



Alleged negligence: 13-year-old drags Baptist School to court, demands N2.1bn



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A 13-year-old student, Tejumade Davies, has dragged the Baptist High School, Abuja, to a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi over alleged negligence which led to bodily injury he suffered while in boarding.

reported that Davies is a Junior Secondary School 3 student of Baptist High School at Nigerian Baptist Convention Ground in Kubwa, Abuja.

The teenager in the suit filed on his behalf by his guardian, Dada Davies was specifically claiming the total sum of N2.1 billion from the school as compensation for the cost of medical treatment, cost of instituting legal action as well as exemplary/punitive damages.

Meanwhile, the trial judge of the court, Justice Babangida Hassan, has fixed March 9, 2022 for hearing.

A copy of the court processes was obtained by Journalists in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the claimant, in the suit marked CV/2437/2021, the school failed in its duty as “loco parentis” by not noticing or providing necessary care and attention to the teenager (who would be 14 years in May) after he fell and could no longer walk while participating in the school’s Physical and Health Education Practical Examination for the Basic Education Certificate Examination 2020/2021 academic session.

The fall and the alleged neglect of the school to either informed his parents or provide urgent medical attention, according to the plaintiff, resulted in him suffering what doctors called “Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE)” on his right leg and”Prophylactic Pinning-in-situ” on the left.

Davies in the suit filed by his lawyer, Arinze Obetta, said problem started on July 5, 2021, when the student was asked to participate in a 100 meters race, despite a reported health challenge.

In a witness statement on oath, deponent and mother of claimant, Mrs. Sandra Davies alleged that but for the defendant’s negligence, her son would not have participated in the said Physical and Health Education Practical Examination, which resulted in physical and psychological injury, suffering, pain and monetary expenses.

The deponent claimed she had earlier informed some members of staff of the school of claimant’s health condition after they noticed he was limping during the second term holidays of 2020/2021 session.

According to her, they had taken her son to a Hospital in the Wuse Area of Abuja, where Doctors, after treatment, advised that he should not be allowed to stress his right leg.

She added that the information was not only passed to his House Master but also information that the drugs to be administered on him were handed over to the Matron (Head Nurse of the school) for proper administration.

She however lamented that all the instructions were ignored by the school while senior students were also allowed to punish the young Davies by asking him to do “frog jump” despite his health condition.

The deponent in addition accused the school of not showing concern about the plight of claimant even when they new claimant was taken straight from the school to the Hospital where he was later operated on his two legs, adding that they only called after a friend to the claimant’s father who introduced them to the school called ” to condemn the negligent manner in which the defendant school was handling claimant’s case”.

The deponent while stressing that her son has sustained injury from the fall due to pain, emotional and psychological torture, future loss of earning capacity, as a result of defendant’s negligence, stated that the boy was also on the verge of being permanently disabled should anything happens to his cartilage bone, a condition that was said to be beyond what medical science can handle.

The plaintiff is therefore demanding the sum of N1. 7 million being the cost of medical treatment, another N5 million as cost of instituting the legal action.

The claimant is further demanding another sum of N1 billion as general damages for the physical and psychological injury, suffering, future losses and expenses, future loss of earning capacity, and pain of the claimant owing to the negligence of the defendant and N500 million as exemplary/punitive damages.


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Kwara joins top rice producing states with 102,000 metric tons output



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Kwara State has joined top states in rice production in Nigeria with its over 102,000 metric tons output during the wet and dry season of last year.

This was contained in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official document, celebrating the return of rice pyramid in Nigeria.

“The North Central state, which contributed over 40,000 metric tons of rice paddy to the recently unveiled rice pyramid in Abuja, was not considered a rice producing state before the administration of President Muhamadu Buhari and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, but today, the state has emerged among the top producers in the country, courtesy of the efforts of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in the state”, the CBN report said.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara State branch, Dr Ahmed Saba, said that “we thought we didn’t do enough in our production until we got to Abuja where the Central Bank of Nigeria, who is in charge of the anchor borrowers programme, unveiled the data showing that Kwara State actually did better than we thought, by being among the top rice producing states in the country.”

According to Saba, Kwara State produced 62,332 metric tons of rice paddy during the dry season and 40,000 metric tons during the wet season, making a total of 102,332 metric tons.

Commending those who made the feat possible, Saba thanked the president of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, and the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as the Kwara State government for providing enabling environment and support for the programme.

“We must give kudos to the federal government of Nigeria, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria for initiating a policy that enables farmers to access resources like never before, across all the value chain, from cultivation to harvest and sale, particularly the Ilorin team, who supported RIFAN immensely during some emergency moments,” he said.

RIFAN Chairman also praised Kwara State government for its openness and accommodation of ideas, saying that without the enabling environment provided by the state government, nothing tangible could have been achieved.

“Since the emergence of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in Kwara State, the state has keyed into President administration’s rice revolution in an aggressive manner and this saw its rice production rise significantly within the dry and wet season, surpassing many states across the federation.

“The federal government of Nigeria, recently celebrated the success of its rice production efforts, with the return of rice pyramid in Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja,” he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, while unveiling the FCT mega rice pyramid, noted that “at a period where the country had preponderance of imported rice in the Nigerian market, with only six functional Integrated Rice Mill and a national paddy output of about 4.5 million metric tons, the Nigerian rice industry was unattractive for both farmers and millers.

The CBN said, “Demand and supply gap was being met with import of over N600 billion worth of rice annually and this necessitated the introduction of the Anchor Borrowers programme in 2015, as a game changer for small holder farmers financing.

“The anchor borrowers programme created a dynamic ecosystem among all stakeholders, through the provision of input in kind, biometric identification of farms and farmers, extension services, guaranteed markets through well established off take contracts and further linkages to the agro processors to ensure the transmission of the gains from primary production to other nodes of the value chain.”

“Through the provision of quality inputs, good agronomics practices and secured markets for off take, productivity per hectares increased to an average 4-5 metric tons, integrated rice mills grew astronomically to over 50 in 2021 thereby unlocking enormous private sector investment to the rice value chain.

“This also led to an increase in national output to over 9 million metric tons, from the initial 5 million, which is more than 80 per cent increase within the space of 5 years,” CBN said.


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Oshiomhole disclaims tweets on Seyi Makinde



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By Jethro Ibileke

Former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, ha disowned a Twitter handle which carried a series of tweets that berated Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State as an ‘Over-hyped Social Media Governor’.

The former Edo State Governor made the disclaimer in a statement issued on Sunday, by his media aide, Victor Oshioke.

Read the full statement below:

“The attention of H.E Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been drawn to a series of tweets from a twitter account @A_Oshiomhole commenting on recent national issues.

“Specifically, there was a tweet that originated from this account on January 20, 2022, which seem to insinuate that H. E. Seyi Makinde, Executive Governor of Oyo State is an ‘Over-hyped Social Media Governor’.

“We wish to alert the general public that this twitter account is fake as it is not operated by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole or any of his aides.

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole holds H.E. Governor Seyi Makinde in high esteem and has no reason whatsoever to privately or publicly denigrate him.

“Let it be on record that all tweets that have originated from this account or will originate from it in the future do not represent the opinions or sentiments of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

“Our investigations have further revealed that there are other fake twitter accounts illegally opened with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s name and photographs.

Some of them are:

“Any tweets originating from the above fake accounts should be disregarded as they do not represent the opinions or sentiments of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s official handle which will be verified soon is @aoshiomhole.”


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