Category:

Chief Justice Lewis One of Liberia’s Greatest Minds of the Century

first_imgAssociate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks of the Supreme Court,  delivering the eulogy on behalf of the Liberian Judiciary at the funeral service yesterday of former Chief Justice Johnnie N. Lewis, described him as “ one of the  land’s greatest minds of the century.” The funeral service held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia was attended by an array of dignitaries and people of all walks of life led by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.Associate Justice Banks in his tribute described Chief Justice Lewis as a man who had great passion and love for the law and wanted everybody to be accorded due process and justice.“He was a brilliant man who loved the law,” said Justice Banks.  The virtues that mattered most to the Supreme Court were his knowledge of the law, his commitment to the law and his achievement of justice.“We heard of his achievements and the brilliant work we know that he did. That was because of his love for the law,” Justice Banks emphasized.“When he criticized the manner in which people were practicing the law that was because of his love for it.”“It is because of the love he had for the law that made him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to challenge the manner in which the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and electoral District# 6 of Montserrado County, Rep. Edwin Snowe, was removed from that position by his colleagues in the 52nd National Legislature.”“It was also based on his love of the law that the Supreme Court decided to invalidate the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),” adding “It was not because there was no substantive merit in it, but it lacked the core elements of the fundamentals of the law, which provide that a person should be presumed innocent unless they have gone through the due process of law and they should not be condemned.” “It was his love of the law that caused him to ensure that the judiciary worked independently of the other two branches of government,” Associate Justice Banks declared.“It was because of his love for the law that made him to walk from his fourth floor office at the Temple of Justice to courtrooms to make sure that cases were heard and justice was carried out.” Justice Banks said he was honored to eulogize Chief Justice Lewis as Cllr. Johnnie Lewis, professor, judge and chief justice.  “He was my friend, a longtime mentor, and a mentor and friend to many of you.”Reflecting on his long and close association with the deceased, Justice Banks recalled that they were students at the Louis Arthur Grimes Law School, at the University of Liberia.  They also held a partnership, the Banks and Lewis Law Firm.“We both worked during the interim government of Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, where he served as legal advisor and I was then Minister of Justice and Attorney General.”“We attended the same law school, the Yale University in the United States of America,” said Justice Banks. “I realized in this great brain of his was a love for the law.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Criminal Court Frustrates FIBank Lawyers

first_imgArguments pushed by lawyers representing First International Bank (FIB) to have ten former employees now facing US$4m theft charges to remain in prison until they were ready to try them were yesterday ignored by Criminal Court C.The lawyers were lobbying with Judge Peter Gbeneweleh to agree to have the defendants remain behind bars for fear that the defendants who had earlier jumped bail could leave the country if they were not detained.Judge Gbeneweleh, after listening to their arguments yesterday declared, “We are not interested just to detain people because of bond, we are here to prosecute people to know whether or not they committed the crimes of which they are accused.”Judge Gbeneweleh warned the defense team, “I will not approve of any more bonds, and if you were to take me to the Supreme Court, I would tell them that I am tired of approving bond for defendants who on bail refuse to reappear for their trial,”At yesterday’s hearing only four of the ten defendants were present in the courtroom while the six others, who were not in court, were represented by their legal team.It was not clear why the six defendants did not appear in court yesterday to commence with the case. Judge Gbeneweleh warned all counsels and parties that were present “to ensure the appearance of their respective clients on Wednesday, September 2, at 9:00 am. The failure of any defendant whose counsels are present and they are not in court, would leave the court with no alternative but to arrest and detain the said defendants until the case is completely resolved.”Gbeneweleh’s decision followed the defense team whose clients were not present in court and as a result postponed the case for an additional day at which time they would have appeared in court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Jeffery Gbatu, Among 1,560 Deportees, Arrive Wednesday

first_imgWednesday, November 2, is the expected forced arrival date for 1,560 Liberians, including the former speaker of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), Jeffery Gbatu.The deportees, reports indicate, were involved in various crimes, including felony that makes an alien ineligible to reside in the United States. Mr. Gbatu, who has been residing in the United States since the civil-war in the 1990, was caught by US authorities for his role in the bloodletting that climaxed the brutal takeover of the government in 1980, murdering at least 13 government officials, including Mr. A. B. Tolbert, the son of President William R. Tolbert.The People’s Redemption Council (PRC) government, headed by Samuel Kanyon Doe, wrestled power from the century old True Whig Party (TWP), accused officials of rampant corruption and shot them point blank strapped behind poles on Barclay Training Center beach, as the mantra ‘In the Cause of the People the Struggle Continues,’ popularized by so-called Liberian progressives, filled the streets of Monrovia.As rivalry set in its own ranks, the LPRC began to “eat its own men” within a decade of its ruling. As army strongman Samuel Doe consolidated power and began to understand what it meant to be a leader, he transitioned from military to civilian; however, destruction followed him as well. And by 1985, he had cheated on an election that set the ball rolling for the emergence of Charles Taylor, who accepted to lead armed men to remove Doe by force of arms.On Wednesday’s expected arrivals, of the 1,560 expected back in the country, 1,500 are coming from US jails, with the other 60 coming from Canadian jails. Administration officials are not making any statements on where the deportees will be held to complete official formalities before resettling them in their various counties of origin.Though Brigadier General Gbatu’s trouble is quite clear, it is highly likely that the Americans are not happy to allow anyone involved in ‘human rights abuses’ to seek asylum in their country.Gbatu was first arrested on September 19 in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the U.S. Homeland Security alerted Interpol, which subsequently charged him with “war crimes and crimes against humanity” he allegedly committed in the aftermath of the 1980 coup.Gbatu and the rest of his compatriots are coming home at a time when there are extreme challenges for jobs, but it is hoped with years in the United States they may have acquired some marketable skills that could pave their way so they won’t miss the United States and Canada that much.Gbatu is one of three contemporaries alive today, including Kolonseh Gonyon and Joseph V. Tubman. Their 12 predecessors include Thomas Weh Syen, Thomas Quiwonkpa, Fallah G. Varney, Abraham D. Kollie, Nelson Toe, Larry Borteh, Harrison Pennoh, Albert Toe, Robert Zuo, William Gould, Robert Nuwoku, and Jerry Friday.Gbatu’s coming home is also a reality of the United States government’s unwillingness to accommodate anyone who is accused of or has participated in violence against the innocent. His case is similar to that of George S. Boley, the former leader of the Liberian Peace Council (LPC), who committed human rights abuses during the Liberian civil war in the 1990s. He was deported to Liberia in 2012.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Students Attending Classes Under Leaky Roof in Bong County

first_imgStudents at the Bakalu SchoolStudents of Dorothy Cooper School in Gbarnga have been attending classes under a leaky roof since the beginning of the year, and there is no help yet in sight for them.Students of the Dorothy Cooper Elementary and Junior High School, a government run institution in Gbarnga, Bong County, are attending classes under unbearable conditions key amongst which is a leaky roof.The government school which was built more than four decades ago has had no records of any repair work since violent storm damaged the roof early this year.The teachers are finding it extremely difficult to teach, especially during this wet season.“The school has a very huge enrollment of over 1,500 students and for them to learn under such circumstances is not healthy for our modern society,” one of the teachers told the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity.The school’s roof has been damaged for many months now, and no one from the county leadership or the Ministry of Education (MoE) has bothered to repair it, the teachers added.The teachers further said that the situation has put the students’ safety at risk, “and so the building must be repaired to protect it from eventual collapse.”Students are constrained to attend classes under the leaky roof because there is no money to repair the school.Meanwhile, some of the students, who have no option but to sit under the leaking roofs are reportedly developing flu.“Authorities at the MoE are yet to take the necessary measures to arrest the situation or to clear the accumulated water atop the school,” some disenchanted students told the Daily Observer.A teacher in the school who described the situation as worrisome, said it could hinder quality learning since the MoE  has up to date shown no concern.Ironically, MoE authorities had earlier spoken of the need to fence the school, provide furniture, computers, textbooks, library, toilet facility and supply potable water.In a related development, the John Flomo Bakalu Elementary and Junior High School in Gbarnga was also damaged by recent violent storm that took away the entire roof.According to the Principal, David Bokay, the county Electoral District #3 Representative, Josiah Marvin Cole provided 25 bundles of roofing zinc plus L$50,000, “but that is not enough to repair the school.”“When former Representative George Mulbah renovated that building in 2015, as the result of similar situation, he made available 55 bundles of zinc to renovate the entire building, but 25 bundles was not sufficient to complete the roofing,” Mr. Bokay said.At the same time, parents and students have called on the county leadership as well as the MoE to arrest the situation before the peak of the rainy season.Education authorities who were reached by this newspaper in the county expressed regret about the situation, but said plans are under way to renovate the schools. They did not say when the repair work will commence.In March of this year, violent storms damaged several buildings in Gbarnga, including residences and school buildings, among them the Dorothy Cooper and the John Flomo Bakalu Junior High Schools being the worst hit.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Govt to build humanitarian centres for Venezuelan refugees

first_imgFollowing calls by Region One (Barima-Waini) Chairman Brentnol Ashley recently for Government and donor agencies to provide more assistance to Venezuelan refugees, the Administration on Monday signalled its intention to construct several facilities to respond to the Venezuelan influx. This was announced by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at his post-Cabinet briefing.“We are going to build facilities to respond to where the Venezuelan citizens are coming from,” Harmon noted.The centres would likely be built in Region One and reports stated that a multi-agency committee, comprising the Guyana Police Force and the Citizenship and Public Health Ministries, will oversee the establishment of the Government- controlled centres. Guyana Times was told that Citizenship Minister Winston Felix was expected to visit the Region later this week and it was expected that official numbers could be released afterwards.Venezuelan refugees mainly from the Warrau tribe have been fleeing the economic and political turmoil in the Spanish-speaking country. Chairman Ashley recently called on Government and donor agencies to provide more assistance to the refugees. He, in fact, pointed out that the refugees were continuing to put a strain on the Region’s medical resources, adding that the numbers have reached some 500.According to information provided, there are over 30 persons living along the Yarakita community while over 55 foreigners have taken up boarding at Kaneville. It was also noted that Whitewater recorded the most significant number of settlers with 236 while another community, Kamwatta, had over 60. Only days ago, Government noted that the 260 confirmed Venezuelan refugees are occupying areas in Region One.Ashley told this publication on Saturday that immigration officers have been accompanying the team visiting the various communities to confirm just how many Venezuelan persons have actually taken up residence here. This should clear up the anomalies.Ashley said too that he was looking forward to Citizenship Minister Felix’s visit and along with a Civil Defence Commission (CDC) team to address the growing numbers of persons fleeing to this country.Ashley stressed that refugees needed not only food supplies but clothing as well, as Government and other donor agencies provided in the past. Many in the area have expressed concern for the safety, health, and accommodation of the migrants and the locals who live around them. However, it was reported last month that the refugees were undergoing health screening, as several were found to have malaria. Also, some persons displayed signs and symptoms of tuberculosis and others were reportedly HIV-positive.Venezuelan nationals have been crossing into Guyana, especially at Region One, to seek medical treatment for malaria. Ashley previously noted that the Region’s 2018 Budget currently did not have funds to provide for these refugees, but agencies such as Food For The Poor, the CDC and other good Samaritans, provided limited clothing and food items to the refugees. Many of them are from the Warrau tribe and many reside along the border with Guyana.last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Minibus driver charged with raping differently-abled woman

first_imgMinibus driver Sherwin Reynolds of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara was on Friday remanded to prison after appearing before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan to answer a charge of rape.The allegation the 44-year-old faces details that on April 19, 2018, while in the vicinity of Timehri, East Bank Demerara, Reynolds had sex with the 21-year-old woman without her consent.On the day in question, the victim was reportedly the lone passenger in a route 42 minibus being driven by the defendant. He reportedly took the woman to a lonely area without her permission, and performed the dreadful act on her against her will.The differently-abled woman was then dropped off close to her home. She later informed her parents about what had transpired, and was taken to the Timehri Police Station where the matter was reported. Reynolds was thus arrested and charged for the offence.Reynolds, represented by attorney Stanley Moore, will make his next court appearance on October 10.last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Lack of grads could hurt economy

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – California’s economy could sputter over the next two decades because not enough college-educated workers are moving here, and the state can’t graduate current residents fast enough, according to a new report. The nation’s most populous state needs to nearly triple the number of highly skilled immigrants who come here every year from other states and countries. If it fails, California won’t meet the 20-year economic benchmarks set by the California Department of Transportation in 2005, the Public Policy Institute of California reported Wednesday. The state will need at least 8.3 million college-educated workers by 2025 if it wants to maintain its current growth rates. That’s a 75 percent increase from 2005 and 3.2 million short of what it will have in 18 years if the state’s immigration and graduation rates remain constant. “What we’re saying here is not a gloom-and-doom scenario,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer with San Francisco-based PPIC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. “But if the supply of workers is not there to meet that demand, the state’s economy will be less skilled than we expected. … It’s not as good an outcome as some have projected.” Other than a costly and daunting revamp of the state’s public education system, it’s tough to say what, if anything, California could do to attract enormous additional numbers of college graduates, researchers said. The state’s notoriously high cost of housing, particularly along the urban coast, has resulted in a net exodus of college graduates to lower-cost states in recent years. California also faces growing competition from India and China, which for decades have been major sources of foreign-born students and executives. Those countries are increasingly retaining homegrown talent as their economies surge and American companies hire executives, engineers and scientists at new office parks in Beijing, Dublin and Bangalore, India. The study comes as the Senate considers an immigration reform bill that would create a guest-worker program capped at 200,000 people a year and grant 12 million unlawful immigrants quick legal status. The bill also calls for a point system that places less emphasis on an applicant’s family connections and more on education and skills in demand by U.S. businesses. Despite the bill’s business-friendly veneer, PPIC researchers and business leaders said they were skeptical that it would help California reduce its skilled worker deficit and bring more graduates and students to the United States. “The bill would be unlikely to generate the kinds of changes needed to attract skilled laborers,” Johnson said Wednesday. Silicon Valley executives said the PPIC’s prediction of a worker shortfall echoes concerns they’ve had for nearly a decade. The state needs to attract more students to its flagship universities – and make it easier for foreign students to stay here after graduation, said Roland Van der Meer, partner of Palo Alto-based venture capital firm ComVentures. “I think everyone we give an education to – we should just slap a green card on them and let them stay here, whether they came here for undergrad, grad or Ph.D. work,” Van der Meer said. “Instead, we’re educating them and sending them home. That’s insane.” One of the few bright spots in the PPIC report was the conclusion that salaries for highly skilled workers would likely rise sharply as demand rises – particularly as baby boomers retire and companies recruit new managers and executives. But the gap between the state’s rich and poor would also widen – a disparity likely to manifest itself along racial lines and, possibly, stir ethnic tensions among California’s fastest-growing groups. Asians are gaining a disproportionate number of degrees and high-paying jobs relative to Latinos, who historically have less education, on average, said Deborah Reed, PPIC research director and economist. “California over the last two decades has seen a growing income gap primarily driven by rising value of education,” Reed said Wednesday. “This is just the beginning of the shortage.” Although researchers focused on California exclusively, Reed said economic deceleration and a widening income gap would become national themes. “The global competition is certainly a factor for all the states in the nation,” Reed said. “We’d expect these skill shortages for all the states.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Antitrust lawsuit targets television

first_imgCHOICE: Filing says cable and satellite providers and networks thwart customers. By Alex Veiga THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The U.S. pay-TV industry amounts to a cartel because it maintains profits by offering channels in prepackaged tiers rather than “a la carte,” according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has said such a system would require federal legislation. The cable TV industry has argued that such an a la carte system would lead to higher prices, less programming diversity, and fewer channels in part because advertising revenue would fall. Such a system also would require more customer service representatives and raise the costs of billing and marketing, the industry has said. Blecher’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and wants the court to force cable operators to tell subscribers they can buy channels individually. Blecher estimated up to 80 million people receive bundled cable or satellite television packages and could be a party to the case should it receive class-action status. The companies named in the suit are NBC Universal Inc., Viacom Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Fox Entertainment Group Inc., Time Warner Inc., Comcast Cable Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc., The El Segundo-based DirecTV Group Inc., Echostar Satellite LLC, Charter Communications Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The federal lawsuit names every major cable and satellite television system operator, and every major cable and broadcast television network. “The antitrust laws protect the right of choice,” antitrust lawyer Maxwell M. Blecher said. “Here the customer is denied that choice.” The complex web of contractual arrangements among service providers and networks amounts to a monopoly or cartel that has “deprived consumers of choice, caused them to pay inflated prices for cable television, and forced them to pay for cable channels they do not want and do not watch,” Blecher wrote in the complaint filed in several states. The complaint, which alleges a conspiracy to monopolize and violate federal antitrust laws, names nine plaintiffs, but Blecher wants the U.S. District Court to certify it as a class action. Blecher contends cable and satellite TV subscribers should be able to pay only for the channels they actually want to watch. last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

Fulham to attempt shock raid for Chelsea star out on loan

first_imgDespite his poor form, Calciomercato have claimed that Fulham are keen to bring in the Chelsea loanee in January as they look to bolster their ranks.The Cottagers are currently bottom of the Premier League table with manager Slavisa Jokanovic, a former Chelsea defender, facing the axe. IN DEMAND Bakayoko has also been terrible for AC Milan. REVEALED AC Milan swooped in to sign Bakayoko on a season-long loan deal worth around £3.5million with the midfielder desperately seeking a return to first-team action.Although he has struggled to impress at the San Siro too, Milan are willing to give Bakayoko time to reverse his early-season misfortunes. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star 2 2 Most Popular Transfer Stories Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Gossip Liverpool tracking Toulouse youngster ahead of possible January move RANKED Getty Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade center_img Milan are not expected to cut short Bakayoko’s loan deal though, meaning a potential move for the Frenchman could be difficult.The San Siro giants have the option to complete a permanent deal for around £30million next summer and will give the out-of-form midfielder time to prove himself. targets Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer LATEST blunder Premier League relegation battlers Fulham have made a shock attempt to try and sign Chelsea loanee Tiemoue Bakayoko.The France midfielder was deemed surplus to requirements in the summer with Maurizio Sarri unimpressed by the 24-year-old’s performances in pre-season. moving on Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko’s stock has fallen dramatically. targets ‘perfect fit” Euro expert explains why Liverpool should be so excited about Minamino Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ The bizarre reason why Man United didn’t sign new Liverpool playmaker Minamino Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland last_img read more

Posted On :
Category:

AMERICAN WOMAN CAUGHT UP IN ERIN SUICIDE TRAGEDY

first_imgAn unsuspecting young woman in America has become caught up in the Erin Gallagher suicide tragedy.New Yorker Erin Gallagher has an account on the controversial website ask.fmIt is the same website which the late tragic Donegal teenager of the same name was bullied on. Now the American woman has been forced to tell friends that she is not the same person.Ms Gallagher said last night that she has received more than 30 posts asking her account if she was the same Erin Gallagher who took her own life in Ireland.“Because some girl from Ireland killed herself so they think it’s me…..,” she wrote.Repeated emails to ask.fm about the controversy had not been returned last night. AMERICAN WOMAN CAUGHT UP IN ERIN SUICIDE TRAGEDY was last modified: October 31st, 2012 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:ask.fmErin Gallaghernew yorklast_img read more

Posted On :