Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Niger Delta ex-militants riot in Bayelsa  

Niger Delta ex-militants

Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital was thrown into pandemonium today as residents ran for cover when about 400 former militants protested the allocation of training slots to them.
A car parked along Otiotio road was razed and the windscreens of no fewer than 12 cars were smashed.
Shops were randomly looted on this road and Mbiama-Yenagoa at Yenezuegene axis of the state capital.
This forced panicky shop owners the area hurriedly close their business premises. The panic caused a traffic gridlock, with many owners of vehicles caught up in the melee, abandoned them right on the road.
The quick intervention of the operatives of the Joint Military Taskforce(JTF), anti-riot policemen, members of the State Security Outfit,”Operation Doo Akpor “and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to the scene restored some order.

Lt. Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu , the spokesman for the Joint Task force confirmed that the violence had been brought under control.

President Goodluck Jonathan last year approved training courses for 3,642 ex-militants, under the amnesty programme.
The violent protest started in the area when the Inter-Agency Taskforce headed by Air Vice Marshall Gbum on a verification exercise of ex-militants in the state reportedly told them that 15 guns submitted by a militant camp would be entitled to one training slot.
The ex-militants rejected the allocation formula.

Daniel Alabrah,the Spokesman of the Presidential Amnesty Office condemned the protest by the ex-militants, noting that the destruction of the vehicles was lawless and unnecessary.

Alabrah clarified that the Amnesty Office had no hand in the allocation of slots to the ex-militants, stressing that the Inter- Security Agency would only recommend number of slots to them after its verification exercise.
It was learnt that the Taskforce was appointed by the Chief of Defence Staff to determine arms submitted by the reformed militants.

One of the ex-militant leaders, who gave his name as Tonye Bobo, rejected the proposed 15 guns to each slot. He posited that all the ex-militants who had surrendered arms to embrace amnesty should be given a slot in the amnesty programme.

He said:” The federal government should abide by the agreement reached between late President Umaru Yar’Adua and the ex-militant leaders.The proposed 15 guns to one slot is unacceptable to us.”
“General” Ebi John,one of the ex-militant leader expressed reservation on the controversial slots proposed to the ex-militants, as he threatened more violence for the federal government.

Senior Nigerian lawyer stripped of privileges  

Chief Ajibola Aribisala: stripped of SAN and privileges
Published on February 26, 2013 by   ·   3 Comments
Chief Ajibola Aribisala, a senior advocate of Nigeria has been stripped of the title and the privileges attached to it.
The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) announced this sanction today, on the heels of earlier sanctions announced by the National Judicial Council against two judges, Charles Archibong and Thomas Naron.
A statement issued by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and Secretary of the LPPC, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi said Aribisala was barred courtesy of a petition filed by Fidelity Bank Plc.

“The LPPC at its meeting held today the 26th day of February 2013, considered the petition by Fidelity Bank against the person of Chief Ajibola A. Aribisala, SAN together with his response to same and after due consideration of the said response has decided in its wisdom to suspend him (i.e. Chief Ajibola A. Aribisala) from the use of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and all other privileges attached to that rank pending the outcome of the court case and impeding investigation by the Sub- Committee set up by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee,” the statement said.

The statement did not give details of the petition by Fidelity Bank.
Aribisala is the second top lawyer to be sanctioned by the LPPC. Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa had earlier suffered the same fate.
Last year, Aribisala sued Access Bank asking to be paid N2billion as fees for debt collection, after pocketing N173million for similar service for the bank.

He lost the case and was asked to pay N300,000 cost to Access Bank.
Aribisala graduated from the University of Lagos in 1983 and the Law School a year after. He became a SAN 20 years after.

His chambers, AOS, introduces Aribisala as an expert in the “practice of property law in Nigeria and is quite renowned for his debt recovery and insolvency expertise”

Ladipo Market: Arrested Bakassi Boys To Face Trial

  Weapons found in their possession
Some of the Bakassi Boys arrested at the Ladipo Market

 Weapons found in their possession
 Twelve suspected members of the Bakassi Boys arrested on Monday at Ladipo Market, Mushin in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria will soon be charged to court.
The suspected Bakassi Boys, who were allegedly terrorising traders at the Ladipo Market, were arrested by officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit shortly after the closure of the market due to filth and degradation of the environment on Monday.
Some of the suspects arrested are Chibike Eze, Monday Chukwu, Obinna Ibe, Ndubuisi Ezinwane, Samson Ape and Tochi Kinsley.
The items recovered from the suspects include over 10 cutlasses, knives, charms and rings, among others.
Taskforce Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, Chief Superintendent of Police, said the suspects would be charged to court soon for the law to take its due course.
“They initially dared us by showing us their charms and we are also aware that they have weapons. We are going to charge them to court,” he said.
Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Olatunde Adepintan had told the taskforce that criminals and suspected members of Bakassi Boys were living inside the market.
Sulaiman said the suspects, allegedly armed with weapons, dared the police to enter the market before they were arrested inside the Aguiyi Ironsi Spare Parts Market, a section of the market.
P.M.NEWS learnt that the taskforce officials forced the massive gate to the market open as it was shut from inside by the suspected hoodlums.
The police, however, called for reinforcement as they got wind that the suspects were armed with guns and dangerous weapons.
As the police gained entrance into the market, one of the hoodlums brought out a knife and challenged them. But when the hoodlums realised that they were outnumbered by the police, they attempted to escape, but 12 of the 18 suspects were arrested.
One of the suspects, Eze, denied that they were members of Bakassi Boys.
He said that they were security men hired by Jonathan Okorie.
He said the cutlasses and the charms recovered from them were used for security purposes.
“We were 18 but some of us have fled. I am not a criminal. I am here to secure this market. Since I came here, I have been sleeping in this market,” he said.
Meanwhile traders of Ladipo Market are complaining about the closure of the market.
The traders who were dispersed by the taskforce officials with several canisters of teargas said they were caught unawares as they never expected the market to be shut without notice.
A trader, who craved anonymity, told P.M.NEWS: “We don’t like the closure.  This will cause suffering. We came in this morning (yesterday) and met our market shut and the police stopped us from entering. No notice was given to us and what are we going to do now?”
Another trader simply identified as Nduibuisi, appealed to government to re-open the market as the traders would lose lots of money.
Taskforce Chairman, Sulaiman said the state government had lots of issues with the market, ranging from hooliganism, lack of toilet facilities, degradation of the environment with diesel and fuel as well as traders in the market turning themselves in to another government.
“We came here two weeks ago, but the officials of the market did not show up. There was street trading and there are lots of shanties here. We will make sure that this time around, proper sanitation is done by the traders before this market will be re-opened and they have to submit to the chairman of Mushin Local Government,” he stated.

The Joke is on Chief Tony Anenih: In Cartoon  

A character cartoon by a Nigerian about Chief Tony Anenih, the chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority and now Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees.
Apart from his age, close to 80 years, his public service records certainly do not recommend him for all the exalted positions that ‘Africa’s largest’ political party has been bestowing on him.


Will the media rise to the marathon election challenge?

Julia Gillard said some fascinating things to the National Press Club in Canberra this week.
Weekly travel times to work in capital cities has increased by up to an hour and a half a week in the past decade.
Australia has risen from the 15th largest economy in the world in the late 2000s to be 12th today.
David Forman
Individually, we are on average wealthier than Britons, Japanese, Italians and Belgians.
Orthodox economics cannot explain why the Australian dollar remains high in the face of falling interest rates and declining terms of trade.
Australian households have moved from saving nothing before the Global Financial Crisis to now saving 10 percent of household income.
She spoke about how the Government was trying to re-engineer the business of economic management in these strange days.
Then she announced the election date.
The speech set the context for what amounted to a plea by the Prime Minister to the media to talk about facts and policy and not gossip and personalities, at least until the election campaign proper.
She was rewarded in the subsequent Q&A sessions by a press gallery whose questions started with a focus on facts but soon veered into trivia such as who she spoke to before making her decision (surprise, pretty much the same circle of people as every other Prime Minister in living memory, as it turned out) and penetrating observations such as a declaration that she had announced a 227-day campaign. Which in fact was the opposite of what she had repeatedly said was her intention.
The groans of exasperation from the non-media audience were palpable.
The reporting in the first 24 hours since the announcement was equally disheartening.
Every Government thinks the Opposition gets away with being policy-light, with the exception of the Keating Government that went into the 1993 election having been gifted a comprehensive policy program centred on the GST by the John Hewson-led Opposition. Tony Abbott, having been an adviser to Hewson, would no doubt have a vivid memory of how that turned out.
Nonetheless, for anyone who bothers to look, there is an enormous amount of information published by the Opposition about their policy agenda. Sure, there are no detailed costings, but, honestly, how many in the media would independently analyse that information even if it was released?
What they have done is provide details about the issues they will deal with as priorities, the principles they will bring to these issues, and even their alternative vision of government. Across most portfolio areas, the Opposition has had plenty to say that can be analysed and questioned.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for the mainstream media to get around to doing it though. Nor for them to report the policy actions of the Government.
The disconnect between the concerns and interests of the Australian community and the press gallery crystallised last year in the reaction to the now famous misogyny speech by the Prime Minister. It was followed by weeks of introspection, self analysis and hand wringing from an embarrassed media.
But what’s changed? Politics is still reported as a horse race or personality contest, and Australians continue to turn to the online world to vent their spleen and frustration.
Maybe the problem is that the media is so diminished that it is actually incapable of doing that job anymore.
So, here’s an early election prediction. The media will not rise to the challenge. It will happily throw the switch to campaign mode, drive us all insane by being reflexively inane, and, worse, moan about it as though it’s someone else’s fault.

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