Senate Hosts ‘Unusual Guests’ in Chambers

first_imgSenators entering the Chambers of the Senate on Tuesday for the plenary of the 20th day sitting were greeted by scores of toddlers, kindergarten and pre-school kids of the Quality Foundation School from the ELWA Community.The kids, according to their handlers, out of curiosity had written the lawmakers through the Secretary of the Senate to allow them visit the Senators during session and observe their proceedings.The handlers said the kids’ desire was based on the fact that they wanted to see firsthand how the Senators debate issues leading to the crafting of some of the laws.The headmistress of Quality Foundation told the Senators that the children, even at such a young age, are being taught basic issues about the Constitution, as demonstrated by their enthusiasm while singing two stanzas of the “Lone Star Forever”. This was followed by their school’s ode, which spells out that Quality Foundation produces quality education. She said the school is living up to its name by ensuring that although they are just children, they will be molded with a solid foundation in order to produce the quality of education the country will depend on in the future.Most of the children attending the school, according to the school’s authorities, come from parents living in the ELWA Community, who are mainly marketers.Watching the Legislators on television debating in sessions is said to be one of the factors responsible for the interest created in what happens behind the walls of the Capitol Building. “Some of them are even dreaming of becoming lawmakers one day,” the headmistress told the Senate.Welcoming the children and their handlers, Senate Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar M. Findley assured them that the building was their property and that lawmakers were more or less caretakers.“One day you are going to wear the shoes we are wearing today, but you have to continue to be serious in your lessons, disciplined, respectful to those who impart knowledge to you, and above all honest,” Pro Tempore admonished the little girls and boys.On behalf of the Senate, Pro Tempore Findley presented an amount of US$50 as transportation for their unusual, but welcomed visitors.But the biggest surprise for the visitors came from the Senate Chairman on Public Corporations and co-chair on Autonomous Commission and Agencies, Senator Alphonso Gaye, who “on behalf of the people of Grand Gedeh County”, presented an amount of US$500 as “transportation.”Senator Gaye amidst laughter from his colleagues, told the gathering that Senators who are fathers and mothers will always be willing and prepared to identify with children who demonstrate that they can be counted upon to represent their people when the time comes.The visit ended with the Senators taking a photograph with the children on the floor of the Senate chamber.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Adieu Flight MH 370 CRASHED

first_imgFlight MH 370 with 239 persons on boardMarch after seven days it took off fineFamily members friends lovers and parentsTickets in hand to get a chore done as usualLittle did they know it would be a final dateIn prayer modes the world watched for wordMan made filled even on the most recentWithout a clue the whole world just confusedSudden ShockAdieu Flight MH 370CRASHEDThe prayers bellowed high to appease GodIn grief wailing love ones and spouses shriekWildly as ere text messages are posted themSo heartless the act adds insult to much injuryThose expecting a miracle stunned at the newsGone down over weeks lost probably foreverMaybe flying for hours before the sea diveHolding on the last minute contacts they hadTerrible LossAdieu Flight MH 370CRASHEDGoodbye dear friends as you rest beyond usThis may have come so late but now we can cryWith sweet memories of all the good your didHere now we learn a cue to be our best dailyThey were not told to say any goodbye evenLike the doomed final takeoff no one expectedTechnology so safe and brand new failed allLike a kite on the string we have no solid holdDeep SadnessAdieu Flight MH 370Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Prez. Sirleaf Urges Ebola Task Force to Be Vigilant

first_imgIn the wake of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare’s task force to be vigilant in the fight of the virus.Speaking at the a special program on Wednesday, April 9, Madam Sirleaf explained that the Health Ministry and its partners have kept her fully abreast with their intervention since it was officially announced that it has crossed over from neighboring Guinea.The President said her understanding is that the disease is not spreading since its outbreak late March of this year and there were effective actions in place by the MOH and other partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) in ending the plague in Liberia.The President also expressed her sympathy to those families, who have lost loved ones after contracting the virus.“I am told that about 10 persons have died. l want to use this time to say sorry to those who have been affected of the Ebola virus since the outbreak, I have been briefed by Dr. Walter Gwenigale of what is happening.”Speaking earlier, the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, re-emphasized that a delegation of the US Defense Dept., which has medical testing facilities over the border in Kenema, Sierra Leone, will arrive in the country to help support the fight of the virus in Liberia.She further explained that the two testing centers/labs to be setup by the US Defense Department, would reduce the cost and time of sending blood samples to neighboring Guinea for confirmation as well as be on time of the information from the testing medical centers.Madam Malac also used the occasion to express thanks to the Health Ministry for the fight against deadly Ebola virus, which has so far claimed at least 12, lives in Lofa and other parts of the country.The World Health Organization Country Representative, Dr. Nestor Ndayimirije, said they were working with several technical people to ensure that the virus does not spread and end in a short period of time.He further explained at the program that “no country has closed their borders in the wake of the outbreak of the Ebola virus” and expressed that all of its partners were committed to the fight of the virus in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Free Girls Education ‘Unrealistic’

first_imgRep. Thomas P. FallahMontserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah has termed as “unrealistic” a recent pronouncement by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, indicating her government’s plan to provide free education for girls and young women.In her State of the Nation Address delivered to the Legislature on Monday, President Sirleaf announced that her government will embark on a campaign in the next fiscal year to provide financial aid to girls and young women, who are desirous of achieving high school education if they are willing to stay in school.According to the President, her government had on several occasions, demanded quality education, but the process had suffered a series of setbacks as evidenced by the mass failures of Liberian students in exams administered by the University of Liberia and that of the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Based on a number of observations in the process, she announced ‘free education’ for girls, but this privilege remains at the primary and secondary levels of education.In reaction to the President’s address, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker asserted that the President’s projection was “very unrealistic and insincere.”In a Daily Observer interview, Fallah maintained that most of the growth and infrastructure development captured in the President’s speech proved that those in her office didn’t do well in preparing the Chief Executive’s speech.“I am an administrator providing education to thousands of students in Liberia, and to make such comment without providing a workable plan of action is being insincere to the Liberian people,” he said.Regarding the Chief Executive’s announcement that 67 percent of Liberians have access to pipe borne water, the CDC lawmaker strongly differed with Madam Sirleaf, adding; “the President’s address is marred by “falsehood and deception.”“It is disappointing for the President to announce that 67 percent of the people in Liberia have access to pure, clean and safe drinking water. This is not true; people are still finding it difficult to have access to clean and safe drinking water,” Fallah maintained.Commenting on government’s plans to celebrate July 26, Independence Day, in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties, and traveling there on a paved road, he termed the pronouncement as another “pure deception to the people of the region.”He argued: “The same pronouncement was made last year and nothing was done to improve the road condition of those counties. What is government doing now to ensure that the roads of those counties are accessible? Are there any construction works ongoing in this dry season to support the President’s intentions for the 26 celebrations to be hosted in the two counties?” he asked.“Since the celebration was cancelled in that part of the country last year, what has the government instituted to make that place accessible to all for that purpose?” Fallah again asked.Meanwhile, the Unity Party-led government has come under sharp criticism for the “complete breakdown” of its Compulsory Free Primary Education program instituted several years back. Political commentators described it as a failed initiative, adding that “another unrealistic campaign is on its way with no positive impact on the lives of many. “Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

U.S. Senator Impressed by Progress in Ebola Fight

first_imgUnited States Senator and member of the Senate Committee on African Affairs and Appropriation, Chris Coons, has expressed satisfaction over the vigorous stand Liberia and its partners have taken to chase Ebola out of the country and sub-region.Senator Coons, who is visiting Liberia to assess how resources, including financial and human, are being used in the Ebola fight in West Africa, told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday that significant progress had been made in the fight.In the wake of the improvements in Liberia, the U.S. Senator said investors who left the country in August because of Ebola should begin to think about coming back to resume normal activities.However, the Delaware Senator quickly admitted that the virus is yet far from under control in the sub-region and therefore people should not be complacent and avoid preventive measures given by health authorities.He was especially impressed by the Monrovia Medical Unit built in Margibi County for health workers, who may in the process of meeting the needs of patients contract the disease.Senator Coons said that this is the first time in history that Ebola has affected a region as it has done in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.  He stressed that until the entire region is free of the virus, there can be no hope of zero Ebola in Liberia.As others, including President Barack Obama, had said earlier, Senator Coons noted that the health system in Liberia is fragile and full of infrastructural challenges, which he said came as a result of the civil war.He warned that the virus is still far from under control as it can break out at anytime if people are not careful to observe practices that have helped to bring decline in cases.Safe burial, hand washing, taking of temperature, amongst others, are among safety practices being put in place by health authorities to prevent the spread of Ebola.With respect to the long-term goal to prevent a future outbreak, the U.S. Senator said that U.S. had brought in laboratory equipments to test cases of Ebola and other diseases and more PPEs.He said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to establish its office in Liberia, in order to help the health system fast track diseases that may break out.Furthermore, he stressed that United States is investing a huge amount in vaccine that will help to prevent Ebola.Regarding U.S. financial aid expended in the sub-region, Senator Coons put the total at US$770 million, and Ambassador Deborah Malac was quick to remind audience that the money is in kind and cash but not a check issued to any government.While it is a good thought to bring Ebola to zero, it takes commitment to adapting good health practices, Senator Coon emphasized.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bloomfield man to spend 11 years in jail for 2008 murder

first_imgHow low could we as a nation get that it is socially acceptable for us as a people to refer to another as ‘Batty Shine’,” were the opening words from Justice Brassington Reynolds on Friday at the Berbice Assizes as he prepared to hand down a sentence on Omar Bacchus, 29, called ‘Batty Shine’ of Bloomfield Village, Corentyne, Berbice, for the murder of Chandradat Hemraj called ‘Sugar Boy’ and ‘Dry Shrimp in 2008 at Bloomfield.Omar BacchusEarlier, Bacchus had confessed to the lesser count of manslaughter after being charged with killing the mentally ill Hemraj, between August 30 and September 3, 2008.The case for the prosecution was that sometime at Bloomfield Village, Corentyne, Berbice, Bacchus murdered Hemraj, 34, of Third Street, Bloomfield, Corentyne, Berbice.The victim was found dead, days after he went missing, with his face down in a ditch at the back of a yard behind an abandoned house. He had left his home at Letter Kenny about three days earlier to attend a religious function a few villages away, but failed to return home.It is understood that he had returned to his home village, but instead of going home he stopped at a birthday celebration a few houses from where he lived.While he was there he was asked to purchase some cigarettes and was given a bicycle and $1000 to run the errand. He never returned. It was reported that during that time he was attacked and beaten to death and was allegedly sexually assaulted. The $1000 was stolen.When his body was found it was semi-nude with visible marks of violence. There were indications that he was also sodomised. However, no marks could have been seen at the time due to the decomposed state of the body.  He had no shirt on and his pants and briefs were around his knees.During the night of the beating a neighbour testified to seeing the accused beating Hemraj. The incident occurred about 23:00h in front of her gap. She had turned on her veranda light after hearing the sound of someone being beaten. Blood was evident at the scene and from all indications Hemraj was dragged and thrown into the ditch.A post mortem performed by Dr Vivekanand Bridgemohan gave the cause of death as asphyxiation due to drowning and multiple injuries.Before handing down the sentence Justice Reynolds heard from a probation report that the defendant was an alcoholic and supported his parents who were both alcoholics along with an elder sibling. The report also noted that he was a frequent user of marijuana.Bacchus had been remanded since 2008, making him the longest remanded prisoner at the New Amsterdam Prison.He told the court that despite his guilty plea, he did not kill Hemraj who he referred to as a friend. Bacchus said he entered the plea because of the extended period during which he was awaiting trial.Meanwhile, Attorney Perry Gossai in a mitigation plea said everyone has a right to a fair trial in a timely manner and in Bacchus’ case it was not timely.Gossai said the system failed Bacchus because in his eight years in prison he could not have been taught to read or write.He said that Bacchus was the breadwinner of his home and the fact that none of his relatives were present in court was because they could not have afforded to attend the sentencing session. [It cost $300 from Bloomfield to New Amsterdam].Justice Reynolds said while he took all that Gossai said into consideration and despite the guilty plea and Bacchus maintaining his innocence, a life was lost and that was his main concern.The Judge said the crime attracted a 25-year jail sentence but taking into account the time Bacchus has already spent in prison, the fact that he did not waste the court’s time, and all that was said about the defendant, he imposed an 11-year sentence.last_img read more

Venezuelan remanded on multiple charges

first_imgA 30-year-old Venezuelan man was remanded to prison when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to charges of unlawful wounding and obtaining credit by false pretence.Mark Williams pleaded not guilty to the charges which stated that on September 8, 2016, at Itabali landing, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded Devon Leur.The prosecution stated that the Virtual Complainant (VC) sustained abrasions to his left arm and a two centimetre laceration to his shoulder. It was stated that a pair of scissors was used to inflict the injuries.The second charge stated that on the same day, Williams obtained from Leur eight cases of beer valued ,000 on credit by falsely pretending that he was in a position to pay.The prosecution further objected to bail, noting that the man was not a resident of Guyana, had no local address and if released, would not return to Guyana.The defendant was refused bail and the matter was transferred to Kamarang Magistrate’s Court, to be called again on September 29, 2016.last_img read more

Hadfield St man slapped with illegal gun charges

first_imgA 25-year-old labourer, who was taken into custody for questioning into connection with a fatal Rio Nightclub shooting, was on Wednesday charged for illegal possession of a firearm.Jermaine Marius, of Lot 70 Hadfield Street, Georgetown, was remanded to prison for illegal possession of two firearms when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.He pleaded not guilty to the charges, which alleged that on September 30, 2016, he had in his possession a .32 Taurus Pistol as well as a .38 Special revolver, while not being a firearm licence holder. The case will continue on October 26, 2016.On September 26, Ryan Sergeant, of North Ruimveldt, died of gunshot wounds, following a shooting incident in front of the Nightclub in Queenstown, about 02:30h.A Police report had stated that CCTV footage was obtained from the Nightclub and investigators were informed of the possible suspects who were involved in an altercation, prior to rounds being discharged.Acting on information, the Police arrested Marius and he was found to be in possession of the guns.last_img read more

Disease Kills 7 at Omega Community in Paynesville

first_imgAs the deadly Ebola virus continues to strike various communities in Monrovia and its environs, seven family members have been killed as a result of victims having contracted the disease.Madam Hawa Sammie, 67, went to a clinic a few weeks ago and was diagnosed as an Ebola suspect.  She returned home at the old Omega Navigation Station community and misled the family, telling them that she had been diagnosed as suffering from malaria.Consequently, many of the family members caring for her contracted the Ebola virus and died. Bodies remain in the house to the detriment of residents and business entities in the area.Mr. Stephen Fomba, 42, widower of the first Ebola virus victim in the community, told the Daily Observer that he was in Sinoe County when his wife became sick.He also intimated that the funeral home took the body and later informed the family members that the cause of death was indeed Ebola.Mr. Fomba also claimed that he had called numerous times to get people from the Ebola Response Team to come to the community to collect the bodies, but no one responded.The Response Team eventually came and carried away four of the dead after a member of the House of Representatives intervened.According to Mr. Fomba, the victim died since Sunday and it was only yesterday that the team came to remove the body.Mr. Fomba noted that the only person who had come to their community was Mrs. Mai Urey, wife of Mr. Benoni Urey, who brought along a counselor.He further disclosed that the first victim expired last Sunday, followed by 10 others, bringing the total to eleven persons who have died at the old Omega Navigation Station Community.The chairman of the Omega Navigation Station Communtity, Richelieu Philips, pointed out that the lack of awareness initiatives from the Ministry of Health has allegedly contributed current death rates in the area.He also indicated that many residents afflicted by the virus are in hiding, failing to report that they have contracted Ebola, because they don’t want to be quarantined for 21-days.Chairman Philips sounded a serious note of caution that if urgent and swift steps and actions are not taken to remedy the grave situation, many more persons would die in the Omega Community in Paynesville.The Community Chairman also claimed that if the Liberian Government does not take swift action, many of the counselors will continue not to take their assignments seriously.“Proactive action and steps by the Liberian Government, partners and residents must be undertaken, or else the entire nation and its people would perish forever,” Chairman Philips cautioned.He further underscored the urgent need for the Ministry of  Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to decentralize the response activities through Non-governmental organizations and local community organizations in order to intensify the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.Chairman Philips stated that he was disappointed about the overall response of the Liberian Government to the Ebola virus crisis, particularly the MOHSW.Relatedly,, a large group of motorcyclists and community dwellers at the Omega Navigation Station told the Daily Observer yesterday that there are two additional bodies abandoned at Morris Farm Community in Paynesville.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

S/Court Upholds Decision against Subah-Belleh in US$100K Damages

first_imgAfter reviewing the evidence on the record, the Supreme Court has upheld the lower court’s decision that defendant Nelson Oniyama had title and the right of possession to 3.31 acres of land situated at Bushrod Island in Monrovia, which had been a subject of ejection since 2010.The decision was reached with a vote of three (3) in favor and two (2) against among the five justices of the Supreme Court.Those Justices in favor were Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks and Associate Justice Sie-A.Nyene G. Yuoh, while Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor and Associate Justice Jamesetta H. Wolokollie were against the decision. The  case was filed in the Supreme Court by lawyers representing Pewu Subah and Willie Belleh arguing that the Civil Law Court  denied their request for a new trial and refused to reverse its  jury verdict declaring defendant Oniyama not liable (not guilty)  in an  “Action of Ejection,” lawsuit, for which they were claiming US$100,000 in damages.Pewu Subah and Willie Belleh jointly owned the Subah-Belleh and Associate, a Liberian professional group that has been providing management consultancy and research services in the country.But, upholding the lower court’s decision, Associate Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, now Justice in Chambers, who delivered the High Court’s opinion,  declared that “the trial judge confirming the jury verdict to award the property to defendant Nelson Oniyama, being in accordance with the facts and the law, said verdict and judgment are hereby affirmed.”Defending their actions, Justice Banks said, they (three justices) reviewed the facts and circumstances presented in the case, including oral arguments advanced by the parties and the contention in their respective briefs.“Having carefully examined the law governing and applicable to ejection matters; they were satisfied that the    plaintiff (Subah-Belleh) did not meet the evidentiary burden of proof standard required under our law relating to ejection cases,” Justice Banks further clarified.He went on to instruct the Clerk of Court” to send a mandate to the Civil Law Court, commanding the judge presiding therein to resume jurisdiction over the case, and to proceed to enforce the judgment of the court in accordance with the law. Cost is adjudged against the plaintiff, Pewu Subah and Willie Belleh.”Prior to Justice Banks’ ruling, the jury of the Civil Law Court returned from their room of deliberation and came down with an unanimously non-liable (non-guilty) verdict in favor of defendant Oniyama, concluding that he had title and the right of possession to the disputed property.They also denied Subah and Belleh US$100,000 damages claimed against defendant Oniyama.Immediately, after the jury verdict, lawyers of Subah and Belleh asked the court to set-it aside and order a new trial because, they argued, said verdict was clearly contrary to the weight of the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the defendant during the trial.Equally convinced that the plaintiffs (Subah and Belleh) had failed to meet the requisite burden of proof standard governing ejection, the court went ahead and denied their request  and proceeded to enter final judgment against them.It was based on the decision that Subah and Belleh appealed before the Supreme Court to review the ruling of the lower court.The case emerged on May 9, 2011, when Subah and Belleh lawyers complained to the lower court, arguing that defendant Nelson Oniyama had encroached on property, which they had ownership to by virtue of a deed alleged to have been issued in their favor by one John G.T. Nagbe, purported administrator of the Intestate Estate of the late G. Koffa Nagbe.They further alleged that in 1985, the Monthly and Probate Court for Montserrado County, upon the request of John G. T. Nagbe, administrator of the Intestate Estate of the late G. Koffa Nagbe, issued a court’s decree of sale of real property.They said, in 1986, John G.T. Nagbe as administrator of the estate sold a certain parcel of land containing 3.31 acres to them.They also said that after they were given the property they further lease it to Lemminkainen O.Y., a Finish construction company, which was operating in Liberia.Unfortunately, Subah and Belleh claimed that in July 2008, the same Monthly and Probate Court issued letters of administration to one Agnes S, Nagbe, claiming to be another heir of the Nagbe estate. By then, they alleged, John G.T. Nagbe, who was the original administrator, had died.“On the strengthen of those letters of administration, Agnes S. Nagbe sold the 3.31 acres of land to defendant Nelson Oniyama ,” they alleged in their lawsuit.Shortly after obtaining the administrator ‘s deed, Subah and Belleh alleged, “Oniyama began to assert title to and authority over the land , which they appealed to the  Civil Law Court to evict him and to compensate them with US$100,000 for the more than two (2) years during which he had deprived them of the property.In counter argument, Oniyama’s lawyers pled with the court to dismiss the complaint, arguing that their client on July 11, 2008 acquired through a genuine purchase the parcel of land from the Intestate Estate of the late G. Koffa Nagbe, comprising 3.31 acres of land which is the subject of ejection.According to him, before he could purchased the property,  notices  to survey it were published on several occasions  in the Inquirer newspaper and also announced on radio , thereby giving notice to other interested parties , if  any, that they were about to purchase the said parcel of land.Thereafter, they conducted the survey on June 6, 2008, “even though many persons appeared including one Jones, believed to be a surveyor of Subah-Belleh Associate, but not a single person objected to the said re-survey,”  Oniyama further claimed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more