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‘Judiciary Under Siege’

first_imgAssociate Justice Kabinah Ja’neh has said that access to justice in Liberia, especially in the criminal Justice sector, is illusive because the system is besieged by numerous complex challenges.Speaking at a symposium at the Monrovia City Hall yesterday, organized in honor of Dr. Amos C. Sawyer’s 70th birth anniversary by a group known as the Well Wishers of Amos Claudius Sawyer (WACS), Justice Ja’neh said though the government has made tremendous investment in transforming the justice system since 2006, there are more problems that need to be addressed.The event was held under the theme: “The State of Democratic Governance and Development in West Africa and Challenges of the Future.”According to the Associate Justice, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Liberians to have access to justice because of the many flaws that exist in the system, some of which are outdated and have no place in the current dispensation.“Among key problems that need transformation, Justice Ja’neh said, “are archaic habits by security officers to rush to arrest suspects without gathering relevant evidence that are adequate to ensure successful prosecution and failure of magistrates to properly exercise their authority to issue writ of arrest only upon determination that culpable cause exist as mandated by law.”He discussed issues that related to access to justice with particular focus on the country’s criminal justice system. “Our goal here is to highlight the challenges faced by the system and to encourage a more robust national investment in the criminal justice sector, especially as the UNMIL drawdown process continues,” he noted.He also noted further that the national legislature has also been contributing to the problem with the passage of barrage of laws not necessarily responsive to current realities. Justice Ja’neh said pretrial detention, which is making prisons across the country overcrowded, is becoming a serious problem and needs to be addressed. “The Monrovia Central Prison has now become the home of many detainees because they have spent so many years there without being indicted.”He admitted that some verdicts or court decisions are highly influence by judges or magistrates, though he did not indicate how these decisions are influenced.“In some of the courts, especially in the leeward counties, the verdicts are determined by the magistrates and the grand jury is just there as their mouth pieces,” Justice Ja’neh said.He said the failure of the Justice Ministry to prosecute people that have been charged, and have lingered in detention for longer periods of time, is making justice very unattainable in the country, while many have stayed longer in detention for unproved reasons.He noted that there is no place for a jury system because it is contributing to a lot of unfair judicial decisions that sometimes allow the culprits to go scot-free while victims go with broken hearts because jurors have no knowledge on the law and most of them are asleep when proceedings are ongoing.“The jury system is having little or no impact in the justice system,” he said, “but rather waste of money and time. We are paying a lot of money to jurors who have no impact on the system.”Justice Ja’neh’s comments clearly validate the 2014 report of the US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor which highlights corruption, an inefficient justice system, pretrial detentions and police harassment to be among many rights abuses in Liberia.Some judges, according to the report, accepted bribes to award or avoid damages in civil cases, depending on the higher bidder. “Judges sometimes requested bribes to try cases, release detainees from prison, or find defendants not guilty in criminal cases. Defense attorneys and prosecutors sometimes suggested defendants pay bribes to secure favorable rulings from or to appease judges, prosecutors, jurors, and police officers,” the report said.The report also points out denial of due process and harsh prison conditions, violence, intimidation of detainees, official corruption and arbitrary arrests and detention as other abuses by the Liberian Government.Providing another reason why Liberians have no access to justice, the Justice Ja’neh who also once served as Justice Minister in the erstwhile National Transitional Government of Liberia, noted that inverse relations between the number of magisterial courts and the population density are also major problems, indicating that some sparsely populated areas have more magisterial courts than counties that are densely populated.“A case in point is Sinoe and Nimba counties,” Justice Ja’neh said, the latter with 34 Magisterial Courts, [compared to] the former, (less than 15), though the population of a single district in Nimba is more than the entire population of Sinoe.There is a desperate need to look at the long detention issues, he said. “I’m not against people being charged when they are accused of crimes, but what I’m against is, when they are charged they should be prosecuted and not detained for longer time as it has become a tradition in our justice system.”“When you go to rural parts of Liberia, sometimes the distance between one magisterial district and the other is anywhere between three to four hours walking. Interestingly most of the magisterial courts in this country are based in counties where there is hardly any population,” Justice Ja’neh stated.Renowned Liberian Human Rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, said more need to be done because Liberian truly do not have access to justice, due process and fair trails.Sometimes people are held in detention for no reason. “How can you put charges on people for things you cannot justify with law? I visit so many prisons across the country where people are charged for witchcraft activities. As a prosecutor, how can you justify that with the law?” The other two presenters at the symposium were renowned Nigerian Professor of Political Science at Babcock University, Adele Jinadu and Lead Economist at the National Miillinium Challlenge Development Program, Samuuel Tweah. The occasion was also graced by high level dignitaries including CBL Executive Governor, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, Amb. Dew T. W. Mayson, former Grand Kru Senator, Cletus Wortorson and others. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attended the opening of the symposium but left before Justice Ja’neh made his remarks. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Toshaos blast Govt for ‘broken’ promises

first_imgNTC conference 2018The National Toshaos Council’s (NTC’s) conference of 2018 opened on Monday with incumbent Chairman Joel Fredericks blasting Government for a number of unfulfilled promises.According to Fredericks, the indigenous peoples of Guyana were promised a number of things, such as the revision of the Amerindian Act of 2006; Constitutional reform, and land to build an NTC Secretariat.Chairman Fredericks contended that, for three years, the NTC listened carefully to every indigenous people’s policy Government had announced. However, in those three years, trust has been eroded by Government’s failure to effectively act on promises made.“Bit by bit, word by word, policy by policy, we saw the vision being eroded and drawn down… We were promised Land Commission, respect for our land rights,NTC Chairman Joel Fredericksand living in a lawful society. We were promised the revision of the Amerindian Act, constitutional reform, and in 2016 we were promised a plot of land for the NTC Secretariat,” Fredericks charged.“As leaders, every time we make promises and break them, we erode the trust people have in us and our integrity… People gravitate to tangible things, such as their land and rights. On Heritage Day in Pakuri 2017, the people of Pakuri were promised their name change. In February of 2018, we were promised a meeting with His Excellency… And you know what? St. Cuthbert’s is still St. Cuthbert’s,” he charged.When her turn came to address the gathering, Minister within the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, pleaded with toshaos to exercise patience, noting that Government is working to improve indigenous people’s lives. At the same time, she acknowledged that much remains to be done.President David Granger had sought to stress that Government still remains committed to providing a better life for indigenous peoples. He alluded to transportation for school children as one of several measures Government has implemented in hinterland areas, and noted that the NTC itself has a lot of work to do for the indigenous people.On the sidelines of the event, Granger was asked about the chairman’s statements regarding broken promises. As he headed to his car, the President professed ignorance of any promise that had been broken. He recalled that in the case of the land, he himself had turned the sod at Sophia in August 2017 for land for the NTC Secretariat. It is, however, understood that the process has not been completed, since the NTC still does not have title to the land.“I don’t know (that) any promise has been broken. They asked for a plot of land, I went there, turned the sod myself, and it’s being processed. I didn’t break any promises,” the President related.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo was also unaware of any promise made that had been broken. When issues such as land titling and the Amerindian Act were referenced, he noted that those are works in progress.Land titlingThe coalition Government has, however, failed to issue new land titles since taking office in 2015. Minister Allicock had previously admitted that only 26 per cent of the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) Project has been completed.The minister told the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee recently that the ALT work programme, which commenced in 2013, would require another decade before it could be completed, although the project’s life comes to an end in October 2018.According to Minister Allicock, only about 25 per cent of the total US$10 million earmarked for the project has thus far been utilised– some Gy$500 million, or US$2.5 million.The Government had, in 2013, signed a US$10.7 million agreement for implementation of the Amerindian Land Titling and Demarcation Project, which concluded in 2016. However, an extension was requested in 2017, resulting in $165 million being earmarked for advancing of the remaining identified areas.So far, 13 communities have applied for absolute grants for the first time. Of that number, seven have received approval, and six have been demarcated. Out of 23 communities, 14 have been issued with certificates of title; but there has so far been not one single community that has received a title under this Government.The ALT Project seeks to achieve three major goals: completion of land titling issues and demarcation process for all Amerindian villages that submitted requests; increased use of existing and alternative mechanisms to resolve land titling disputes; and completion of a communication strategy, including a handbook describing the process of titling, demarcation, and the social economic impact of secure land tenure.The project is being financed from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) which came into being under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C’s) Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).last_img read more

Liverpool beat Hoffenheim to win first leg

first_imgAfter goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had saved a first-half penalty, 18-year-old defender Trent Alexander-Arnold curled in a free-kick to give Liverpool the lead.Ex-England forward James Milner made sure of victory by curling in a cross-cum-shot, which dropped inside the far post on 75 minutes after deflecting off Havard Nordtveit for an own goal.However, Hoffenheim pulled a goal back when replacement Mark Uth managed to beat the offside trap to score late on to give the Germans hope.“I am happy with the performance, we’d have liked to have won 2-0 and the goal they scored just before the end isn’t so favourable for us,” said Klopp.“We could have scored one or two more goals and we need Anfield in the return leg.“This thing isn’t over yet.”Liverpool’s want-away attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho sat out the play-off with a back injury.The Brazilian is desperate to leave Anfield for Barcelona after handing in a transfer request, but Liverpool insist he is not for sale.Belgium goalkeeper Mignolet saved an early first-half penalty to deny hosts Hoffenheim an early lead in Sinsheim.When Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren brought down Germany winger Serge Gnabry, Hoffenheim’s ex-Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric stepped up for the spot kick.The Hoffenheim forward squandered the golden chance, weakly firing his 11th minute spot-kick at Mignolet.At the other end, Liverpool’s Egypt striker Mohamed Salah fired just wide of the post on 15 minutes after sprinting clear and beating Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool the lead when his floated free-kick beat Baumann on 35 minutes.However, Hoffenheim could have gone into the break level when striker Sandro Wagner hit the post after Mignolet blocked a Gnabry shot.Liverpool should have made it 2-0 straight after the break when Baumann saved Roberto Firmin’s shot from point-blank range after Sadio Mane’s clever cross.– ‘Brave’ –Substitute Milner put the matter beyond doubt when he snapped up Firmino’s pass to the wing from a quickly taken free-kick.He fired home off his left boot on 75 minutes as the shot clipped Nordtveit and went into the net.Uth netted Hoffenheim’s consolation goal to give his team a lifeline when he managed to hold off Alexander-Arnold to score on 87 minutes.“We deserved to at least of had a draw,” said Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann.“We were brave, but we were a bit too open in the second half and risked too much.“The way the game went, with the missed penalty, was unfortunate for us.”Elsewhere, Apoel Nicosia took a big step towards the group stages with a 2-0 win over Czech side Slavia Prague in Cyprus with Igor de Camargo and Efstathios Aloneftis scoring in the first ten minutes.The Cypriot outfit were knocked out by FC Copenhagen at this stage last season, but the Danes are struggling this time, falling 1-0 in Azerbaijan by Qarabag FK.Mahir Madatov scored the only goal of the night when he fired in a rebound after Dino Ndlovu’s shot hit the post after 25 minutes.In Switzerland, Young Boys defender Kasim Adams Nuhu scored an own goal in added time to hand CSKA Moscow a 1-0 win.Steaua Bucharest, reduced to ten men after Mihai Pintilii was sent off ten minutes from time, drew 0-0 at Sporting Lisbon.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Hoffenheim’s defender Ermin Bicakcic (C) and Hoffenheim’s midfielder Kevin Vogt (R) and Liverpool’s midfielder Sadio Mane (L) vie for the ball during the Champions League football qualifier match August 15, 2017 © AFP / Daniel ROLANDBERLIN, Germany, Aug 15 – Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool are far from certain of a Champions League group stage berth despite their 2-1 win at Hoffenheim on Tuesday in their play-off, first-leg.The result in south-west Germany leaves Klopp’s Liverpool in pole position ahead of the return at Anfield on Wednesday, August 23.last_img read more

Amokachi tips African nation for WC Cup final

first_img0Shares0000Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi when he paid a courtesy call to FKF president Nick Mwendwa at the FKF Headquarters at Goal Project on April 18, 2018. PHOTO/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19- The best an African nation has ever done at the FIFA World Cup was getting to the quarter finals.Back in 2010 when the prestigious global tournament was held in Africa for the first time, Ghana almost made history by progressing to the semis, but the famous Luis Suarez handball coupled with Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss pricked that dream right in the bosom. Eight years later, former Nigerian international Daniel ‘The Bull’ Amokachi has exuded huge confidence that an African country will make history and be a finalist at the World Cup in Russia.“I will not change my prediction. I am a big fan of African football and I am a patriot. We have five teams and I told the world that for the first time, we have teams that can win the World Cup for us. My prediction is that we will have four teams progressing to the second round, three to the quarters, two into semis and one will be in the final,” Amokachi said speaking to Capital Sport before adding;“….Nigeria will win it for the first time for Africa,” Amokachi, who has played three World Cups with the Super Eagles said.Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi speaks to Capital Sport during his visit to teh FKF Headquarters at Goal Project on April 18, 2018. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUAfrica will be represented by three teams from North Africa; Egypt (who made it for the first time since 1990) Morocco and Tunisia as well as two from West Africa; Nigeria and Tunisia.Nigeria has been pooled with perennial opponents Argentina in Group D where they will also take on Iceland and Croatia.Egypt will be in Group A and will take on Uruguay, hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia while Morocco will be in group B taking on Spain, Portugal and Iran. Senegal will take on Poland, Colombia and Japan in Group H.Amokachi believes that Africa has for long had the ability to do well at the quadrennial tournament, but has been hampered by poor mentality and lack of self belief.“Most of the time we go to the World Cup with an aim of doing better than the best team last time out. That should never be the case. We should not be talking of quarters or semis. Let us go there with an ambition to win,” Amokachi further stressed.Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi left) when he paid a courtesy call to FKF president Nick Mwendwa right) at the FKF Headquarters at Goal Project on April 18, 2018. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUHe added; “The only thing that causes confusion most of the time is the money factor. Hopefully the federations going to the World Cup have sat down and agreed with the players on the allowances and I hope we don’t see such kind of distraction when the World Cup begins.”On his native Nigeria which he has played for and coached during his illustrious career, Amokachi is confident that the build-up matches before they travel to Russia will do them a world of good with a squad he described as one of the best.“We have lots of quality players and we trying to make some very good egusi soup out of that team. We haven’t gotten it right but we have the quality in that team. We have played and won against Argentina and we played another friendly match and it is good because now we have seen where we need to work out,” Amokachi further explained.The ex-Super Eagles man was speaking to Capital Sport on the sidelines of his visit to Football Kenya Federation offices where he presented the bid book for Morocco’s 2026 World Cup hosting ambition to president Nick Mwendwa.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgBREAKING NEWS: Two teenagers have been hospitalised after falling out of a tree after a freak accident on Arranmore Island.Arranmore Lifeboat rushed to boys aid.The two boys, aged 15 and 16, were rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital last night.One of the boys suffered a back injury and the other boy suffered a broken leg. The boys were transferred from the island by the RNLI lifeboat who took them to the pier in Burtonport where an ambulance was waiting to take them to Letterkenny General Hospital.It is understood the boys were climbing a tree when a branch snapped and the boys fell more than 20ft to the ground.A spokesman on the island praised the quick response from the local lifeboat service.“The lads were on the scene very quickly and waiting to take the boys to the mainland. “As far as we can tell this was just a freak accident and the branch gave way beneath the lads. Hopefully the injuries are not too severe and the boys will be okay,” he said. TEENS HOSPITALISED AFTER FREAK ACCIDENT ON ARRANMORE ISLAND was last modified: June 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Arranmore Islandfreak accidentteenagersTREElast_img read more

Snow forecast for higher ground later this week

first_imgTemperatures are set to plunge later this week with snow forecast for higher ground in parts of Ulster.Temperatures around the country are set to plummet by mid-week, with reports that it will hit -2C.With the temperature drop will come sleet and “icy wintry showers,” by the end of the week, which will hopefully transpire into snow. The forecaster said: “Moderate cyclonic variable winds. Cold and windy on Wednesday night with some rain or sleet for a time, but drier later.“Lowest temperatures plus 2 to -2 degrees Celsius, with some icy roads in spite of the wind.“Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be cold, breezy days, windy at times, with occasional showers, some wintry on high ground.”With the UK is in for mild to heavy snow, some of the white stuff could well be coming our way. Snow forecast for higher ground later this week was last modified: November 20th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalsnowUlsterlast_img read more

The 49ers’ embarrassing loss to the Rams raises serious questions

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.SANTA CLARA — Under normal circumstances, 49ers second-year head coach Kyle Shanahan would be on the hot seat after his team was embarrassed by the Rams Sunday.Under normal circumstances, quarterback C.J. Beathard — a player Shanahan hand-picked and has backed up, full-throat, time and time again — wouldn’t start next week’s game, either.Under normal circumstances, there would be plenty of outspoken concern about …last_img read more

49ers Solomon Thomas’ mental health comeback embodies NFL’s mission

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Life in the NFL is stressful. High risks. High rewards. Sudden lows.Compound all that with your sister’s suicide and the 49ers’ Solomon Thomas will tell you how painfully hard life can be.Thankfully for Thomas — and at least partly because of him — the NFL has begun recognizing mental health as a pertinent issue and has mandated that every team must have a “behavioral health clinician” available weekly at its facility.“In the NFL, it’s a big problem,” Thomas said after 49ers …last_img read more

Kyrie Irving scores 40, leads Celtics’ win over Sixers

first_imgBen Simmons’ two free throws with 2:15 left to put the Sixers up 114-112, but Philadelphia didn’t score again.Irving’s 3-pointer with 3:01 left gave Boston its first lead of overtime at 115-114, then after a miss by Philadelphia, Irving hit another 3-pointer with 1:28 left and Boston fans leaped to their feet and cheered louder than they had all night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefJayson Tatum and Marcus Morris scored 23 apiece for Boston and Terry Rozier had 10 points.Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 34 points, making 12 of 12 free throws, and pulled down 16 rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 24, JJ Redick had 17 points and Ben Simmons added 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for the Sixers. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next This was only the second game on Christmas Day since 2004 that went to overtime. Miami’s win over New Orleans in 2015 was the only other one.TIP-INS:76ers: Wilson Chandler returned after missing Saturday’s win over Toronto with a left quad contusion. He finished with 15 points . Philadelphia reserves did not score a point in the first half. . Redick got a technical after he was called for a foul with 7:32 left in the third. Irving made the free throw to put Boston up 70-63. . G Markelle Fultz traveled with the team but did not dress. Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has missed the last 15 games with thoracic outlet syndrome.Celtics: Irving had 16 points and five rebounds in the first quarter. . C Aron Baynes (broken finger) missed his third straight game. . Horford’s minutes restriction was increased from 20 to 25 minutes in his second game back since missing seven in a row with a sore left knee.UP NEXT:76ers: At Utah on Thursday night.Celtics: Visit Houston on Thursday night, the first of three straight on the road. Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving (11) reacts in front of Philadelphia 76ers’ Jimmy Butler after making a 3-pointer in overtime during an NBA basketball game in Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Boston won 121-114. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving hit back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime for six of his 40 points and the Boston Celtics rallied to a 121-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.Irving, who forced the OT on a jump shot with 20 seconds left in the fourth, also pulled down 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who trailed 113-108 with 3:33 left in the extra period before rallying behind Irving down the stretch.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue The Celtics led 57-51 at halftime, but Philadelphia used a 15-2 run in the third while shooting 60 percent in the period and led 89-86 entering the fourth.Philadelphia shot 60 percent in the third quarter, hitting five 3-pointers, and led 89-86 entering the final quarter.It stayed tight through the end of the fourth. Chandler got open for a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left and the Sixers led 108-106, then Irving pulled up for a 13-foot jumper to tie it at 108 with 20 seconds left.Redick missed a jumper just before the buzzer and the game went into OT.LACK OF OTs:ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Looming standoff MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View commentslast_img read more