THE MORNING WEATHER felt cold all around and many people in the community expected some showers since the September month had begun to rain cats and dogs. Nearby, the local police depot wedged at the corner, and behind the corporation hall where the community handled their perennial issues that affected them. The hall was also located in the office of a small detachment of officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. The day before, two women, one pregnant and younger and the other older and matured had visited the police depot, determined to make a report about a fight.The young woman’s protruding stomach indicated that her pregnancy had reached an advanced stage but she looked very bored as the older women dragged her behind her. It was apparent that the young woman had lost interest in what they had planned to do but she had little choice and to the police station she had arrived. It was on Monday, September 5. “Don’t be silly,” the older woman told her when she realized her reluctance. “We need the police to teach her a lesson.” The woman was her mother-in-law and the one she had threatened to punish was another young woman who had had some misunderstanding with her, and felt she deserved to be punished.As the women ambled their way towards the police station in the local community, the elder woman instructed her what she must say at the police depot.“I am going to tell them she assaulted you,” she said, “and when the officer ask you, you must confirm that she did just that and you bled for two days.” The young woman listened and nodded, with apparent disinterest about the venture.At the police depot, the desk officer straightened his shoulders, readjusted himself on a stool behind his counter and welcomed the mother and the young woman to the office. There was no flurry of activities for the rains had made sure of that, in a community that had experienced reports and counter reports by many on flimsy issues.“Have a seat,” the desk officer instructed. “What is your problem?”Like she had taken time to study the narrative, the older woman explained about a violent physical assault committed by a young woman she identified as Taneh on her daughter in law.“The assault happened on a silly issue,” the woman said, “and a mother like me when I went to separate them,” she pointed at the pregnant girl, about eighteen or twenty, “Taneh cared little and beat on her.”“Then what happened?” the officer probed on, and the woman went on.“It was too bad so people in the community came and prevented her from causing more damage than what she had already done to us,” she ended her complaint and lowered her head, lifted the edge of her lappa to wipe her face.The officer turned and regarded the pregnant girl and then said, “You took her to the clinic I will presume?”“Yes,” the woman said, and the pregnant girl looked embarrassed and turned her face away from the officer.The officer wanted confirmation, and so he turned to the pregnant woman.“Is that what happened to you?”With a grin, the young woman nodded, “Yes.”“And you bled for how many days?”“Yes,” she said, “since yesterday.”“Did you go to any hospital or clinic?”“Yes,” she said, and turned to look at the older woman for assistance, who then nodded,“Ok,” the officer said, “we’ll try to get Taneh to the station here to answer to some questions.”THE NEXT DAY, a police officer brought Taneh to the police depot to answer to accusations against her involvement in the alleged assault on the pregnant woman.“You are accused of assaulting a pregnant woman yesterday?”“Me?”“Yes.”“I never fought any pregnant woman,” Taneh said. “It was an older woman who jumped on me to fight after she spoiled my room door.”The officer listened to her objection, and though she admitted the altercation involved an older woman and not a pregnant woman and though apart from the complaint there was nothing tangible to support the assault top the complainant’s story, the officer would not give Taneh the benefit of the doubt and therefore decided to use the common practice.“I am going to keep you in jail until I see the end of the case,” he said.“But officer,” Taneh protested, “I never fought any pregnant woman.”TANEH WAS THROWN in the police cell, awaiting further confirmation of the earlier report. Thirty minutes later, two men arrived at the police station and enquired about Taneh’s detention and what could be done to release her. The desk officer told them that the case involved the life of a pregnant woman so Taneh could not be released until the complainant decided the next course of action.“One of our officers has investigated the case yesterday,” the officer said, and began to check in a ledger but did not find the report. He grabbed a mobile phone and after a couple of calls and a flurry of conversation, the officer confirmed to the two men that the officer who handled the case had told him that he could not get any confirmation about the bleeding allegation as well as the clinic where the pregnant woman allegedly sought treatment.Then one of the men said, “Since this is the case, I am asking you to release Taneh from further detention and I will come back if you give me the time to meet with the complainant.”“No,” the desk officer said. “It is not done that way.”“Is there any case as far as you are concerned? Are you convinced that Taneh did what she is alleged to have done?” The desk officer could not answer but would not agree to let the detainee out of the cell.THE TWO men decided to bring the pregnant woman and so they enquired about her residence and ten minutes later, they held a conference with her.“You told the police that Taneh fought you?”“Yes.”“You said that you bled after the fight?”“Yes.”“Did you go to the clinic for any treatment?”She hesitated and then said, “Yes.”“Do you have any receipt from the clinic?”Surprised at the question the young woman changed gears and said, “I won’t say anything until my mother-in law is here.”“But you made the complaint at the police station and so we really don’t need your mother in law, do we?”Hesitating further, she said, “I can’t say anything again till my mother-in law is here.”“Where is she?”“She’s gone to the market.”It became apparent that the story about the bleeding and the clinic were lies because the two men realized she wanted her mother-in-law to be present, since it was the mother in law who had made the complaint at the police depot.BACK AT THE police station ten minutes later, the two men narrated their encounter with the pregnant woman to the desk officer and followed it up with their request that they would sign to get custody of Taneh. The desk officer then directed the men to the Depot Commander, who was then occupied, reading a local newspaper.“Can we release Taneh from cell since we are becoming aware that there is something fishy about the case.”“Ok,” the commander said, and directing his attention to the desk officer, told him, “Check what the report about the case indicates and let me know.”For several minutes the desk officer went through the ledger and finally with some difficulty located the report and handed it to the Depot Commander, who also went through it and realizing something was amiss, gave an order.“Take the girl from the cell and let her sit on this bench,” he ordered the desk officer, who immediately fished out a couple of keys and proceeded to the cell. In about three seconds, Taneh followed the desk officer to the complaint room and sat on a bench directed by the officer.SEVERAL HOURS LATER, Taneh was informed that she could secure her release with Ld1, 000. Though the complainant did not return to the police station to follow-up the case, the police would not release Taneh unless the amount was paid and family friends came around and she was able to raise at least Ld800 as a compromise with the police and was subsequently released on her own cognizance.“Whoever is first to take a case to the police depot,” said a young man who heard the story after Taneh’s release, “is the good guy no matter the case and the accused would eventually pay to be free.”“Who receive the money?”“The money was paid to the officer who arrested the accused and it is shared with others. This is how police depots in Liberia handle cases because police officers don’t realize that they are trampling on the rights of their fellow countrymen.”THAT EVENING ONE of the two men who had made some effort to secure Taneh’s release from police detention cell received a newspaper report conducted by a commissioner of the Governance Commission on human rights abuses by police officers across Liberia, along with fears by Liberian citizens on the doom that could overshadow them when UNMIL eventually completes its drawdown sometime in 2016.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Over the past weeks this newspaper has written a number of editorials highlighting the issue of impunity and how it was undermining social cohesion and the dispensation of unadulterated justice to the poor. Indeed IMPUNITY has become a cross cutting theme in our national discourse although many of our public service officials may not seem to share this outlook.On yesterday, August 14, 2018, local radio news broadcasts disclosed that three officers of the Liberia National Police are undergoing probe having been accused of opening live fire on protesting Firestone Plantation workers although the news reports did not say whether there were any casualties.This is not the first reported instance of Police officers opening live fire on individuals protesting against unfair labor practices as in Firestone or against land grabs by Golden Verroleum, Sime Darby, LAC etc. And what has become of those officers involved in those acts of unrestrained violence?As far as the records show, virtually nothing! In another instance, the voice of Bomi County Senator Johnson could be clearly heard in a recording aired on public radio demanding bribes/kickbacks from a local entrepreneur involved in the rubber business in Bomi County. The entrepreneur has been trying to source a loan from lending agencies to improve and expand output of his crumb rubber factory.Senator Johnson could be heard coercing the businessman to give him over one million US dollars out of the US$7 million this Liberian entrepreneur was seeking. He was heard saying that government money is “Bonanza”, asking where in Liberia has anyone been punished for “eating government money, meaning in effect that he could take the plunge and nothing would come out of it.Not surprisingly, Senator Sando Johnson has since come under intense fire from the public. In yet another instance, the Bong County Community College whose construction began a few years ago has yet to be completed. From available records, money allocated to the construction of the college has been squandered by top government officials hailing from Bong County.One such official even had the nerve to request a mining operation to pay tuition fees for students into a personal account abroad at a time when classes had not even begun. The college remains uncompleted today but nothing, virtually nothing has been done to have those officials account for the money.This newspaper also recalls that money — millions of dollars provided to the government of Liberia by the European Union through the Ministry of Finance for the health sector went into private pockets under the watch of former Finance Minister, Amara Konneh and has since never been accounted for.To the best of available information, no action was or has been taken to have the former Minister account. Recalling further, this newspaper has over the last month or so reported on the action taken by President Weah to probe the veracity of Global Witness bribery accusations against former government officials involved in the preparation of the ExxonMobil concession agreement.The Special Presidential Committee completed its assignment and despite strenuous denials of culpability by past officials, the Committee’s findings recommended that former officials pay back the hefty sums they had received from ExxonMobil through the National Oil Company. To the best of public information, not a dime has since been refunded and the dust appears to have settled without any action by President Weah to enforce the recommendations of the Special Presidential Committee.Still in other instances, this newspaper recalls the case of the Milad Hage intestate estate which has remained undisposed before the courts, not due to any fault of his surviving spouse but rather to vile intricacies and unwholesome acts by judicial officials which have essentially robbed Mrs. Oumou Hage of the opportunity to access fair and unadulterated Justice.In fairness, this newspaper must admit that President Weah inherited this mantle. Yet, as President, the nation expects that he will act in ways that would serve to undermine the culture of IMPUNITY over time. However when his crop of officials in both party and state behave in ways akin to those of its predecessors who were incessantly accused of rampant corruption, this newspaper cannot help but call attention to such developments laden as they are with conflict inducing potentials.This newspaper has for example received numerous reports of CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu writing letters to various government agencies submitting lists of individuals to be hired to specifically identified positions irrespective of the fact that most of such individuals lack the requisite qualifications. Moreover, many of the government agencies lack the requisite budget to absorb said individuals.We need not emphasize that such actions are ultra vires and they run contrary to public policy best practices. This tends to leave the public with the distinct impression that this government appears to be veering off course. Hence, in the view of this newspaper it is high time Skipper Weah takes the rudder in hand.In this regard, this newspaper welcomes the latest proposal by President Weah to convene a forum with political parties to discuss matters of national significance especially in view of the mounting problems confronting the economy over which this government appears to be losing its footing.The failure so far of the Eton-Ebomaf loan scheme to materialize, despite lofty pronouncements, has left the public with a sense of unease. And this may have prompted Finance Minister Tweah’s reassurance to the public that the World Bank was stepping in to take up the slack.This newspaper must however remind President Weah that World Bank does not have any money sitting in store for Liberia. Although there may be pledges of assistance, the World Bank will have to source this money from a host of creditor institutions. And those creditor institutions will have to buy into those proposals advanced by government if they should have a fair chance to succeed.Recalling history, former President Sirleaf did receive massive pledges of assistance following her election as President. A donor conference organized to raise money however fell short of raising the money as prospective donors failed to actualize their pledges.What President Weah should bear on mind is that the economic situation is not going to experience an upturn if those on whom we are counting to help remain unconvinced about the seriousness of this government to tackle IMPUNITY in view of the continued hemorrhage of the nation’s financial resources without accountability.Will he take firm action or will he falter for fear of alienating his support base, is the unanswered question. For, this is indeed President Weah’s DILEMMA!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Border controversy caseThe President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has invited the legal teams representing Guyana and Venezuela in the border controversy case, to attend a meeting with him later this month in The Hague, Netherlands.According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday, the meeting has been set for June 18, 2018. It was explained that the purpose of the meeting is to fix the schedule for the filing of the written pleadings in the border controversy case between the two South American neighbours.Such a meeting is part of the Court’s normal procedure following the filing of a case, the Ministry said in a statement.The meeting with the President of the Court will be limited to the matter of the schedule.Guyana’s legal team is being led by former Commonwealth Secretary General, SirPresident David GrangerShridath Ramphal.The team is a holdover from the Foley Hoag law firm delegation that successfully petitioned the United Nations in Guyana’s maritime controversy with Suriname. Other members of the team are Paul Reichler and Payam Akvan.Guyana had initially earmarked US$15 million, monies collected as part of a signing bonus from US oil giant ExxonMobil, for legal fees. However that amount was deemed inadequate and as such, Government secured a supplementary provision of $788 million from the National Assembly last month.On March 29, Guyana filed an application, requesting the World Court to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award regarding its boundary with Venezuela.The 1899 Award establishes the border between the two countries, but Venezuela is claiming that it is null and void. The two countries, under the 1966 Geneva Agreement, turned to the UN Secretary General to resolve what became a controversy under the Charter of the UN.Earlier this year, the UN Secretary General António Guterres announced he wasPresident Nicolás Maduroreferring the decades-old controversy to the ICJ. This move followed unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter through the various mechanisms outlined in the Geneva Agreement signed between Guyana and Venezuela.However, Venezuela had come out rejecting the decision to have the border controversy settled by the World Court. Nevertheless, Venezuela seems to have backtracked on its position, saying on Tuesday that it will be attending the meeting with the World Court that is aimed “…at listening to the different points of view of the parties related to proceduralICJ President Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusufissues.” The invitation was sent on Monday.Correct moveMeanwhile, President David Granger on Wednesday morning told reporters at the State House that the decision of the UN Secretary General to send the matter to the World Court was the correct move at this point.“We want to move forward and we want future generations to be able to live in a country that is not under the shadow of Venezuelan threat. We feel that this is the correct decision and we want to move ahead as quickly as possible,” the Guyanese Head of State said.
The competition, being held in Chelyabinsk, Russia, had the Fort St. John speed skater race in the men’s 1,500 metre event, finishing fifth in the event. Morrison’s fifth place finish came at a time of 1:46.83, completing the race as the fastest Canadian.Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands finished first with a time of 1:45.70.The world cup event will continue on Saturday, Nov.19.- Advertisement –
Dan Winterbottom scored 16 points and Tejas Gala added 13 points and seven rebounds as the Stags denied Cal Lutheran sole possession of second place in the SCIAC with a 62-49 victory at Claremont. CMS (15-10, 7-7) held the Kingsmen (17-8, 10-4) to 37 percent shooting from the field in the game, and Andrew Meier was their only player in double figures, with 10 points. CAL POLY POMONA BASEBALL The Broncos scored early, then held off UC San Diego in a 4-3 victory that was the California Collegiate Athletic Association opener for both teams. Kyle Boggio had three hits, including a double, and drove in two runs to lead Cal Poly (7-4, 1-0). The offense was enough for starter Ryan Screnar (3-1), who allowed one earned run on seven hits in six innings. Mike Evola and Manuel Navarro had two hits apiece for the Broncos. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Lindsey Shiomi was nearly perfect Thursday night, scoring a game-high 26 points as the conference champion La Verne women’s basketball team routed Pomona-Pitzer 92-55 in the regular season finale. Shiomi was 9-of-10 shooting from the field and made all eight of her 3-point attempts. She also had six assists and turned the ball over only once. CMS WOMEN Lana Young had 20 points and eight rebounds and Johnelle Parsons added eight points and 15 rebounds as the Athenas (15-10, 10-4) linched second place in the SCIAC with a 76-52 rout of Cal Lutheran (11-13, 7-7). A big difference in the game was free throw shooting. CMS made 27 of 34 (79 percent), while the Regals made only 11 of 21 (52 percent). Lisa Scheele scored 14 points for CMS while Johanna Rothermel led the Regals with 12 points. CMS MEN La Verne (19-6 overall, 12-2 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) also got 20 points and 12 rebounds from Trenecca Jones. Raquel Viramontes scored 15 points and Rosa Lee added 13 for the Sagehens (5-20, 2-12).
POUCE COUPE, B.C. – The Pouce Coupe Fire Department and the Dawson Creek Fire Department responded to a fire at the old Peace River Haven Seniors facility in Pouce Coupe late Wednesday night.Pouce Coupe CAO, Chris Leggett, says fire crews are still on the scene in an effort to extinguish the remainder of the flames. He also says that the Fire Chief will start an investigation into the cause of the fire, adding that the building is a total loss.“They’re still there putting it out. I spoke with the Chief this morning and he is going to start doing the fire investigation as soon as the flames are extinguished and hoping that it might be as early as tomorrow or the day after. It’s a total loss of the building.”- Advertisement -Some residents believed that the old Seniors facility might be used for local fire practice, but Legget says that was not the case, but instead, another nearby building was selected to be used for that purpose.“The practice burn was set to be conducted on the Hillcrest Motel property, they’re actually pretty close to each other. We had a couple of calls from members of the public inquiry about that, but, no, completely separate properties.”The Peace River Haven Seniors Facility closed in 2012 and was put up for sale by Northern Health and was sold. Over the years several groups have tried to buy the facility with one proposing to open a drug and alcohol treatment centre. Those proposals never moved forward, and the facility has been left vacant since 2012.Advertisement
Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office, told AFP that two men were being held after being indicted for “money laundering, forgery and the use of forgeries, private corruption and criminal conspiracy”.He refused to reveal their identities but a judicial source confirmed the agent was Belgian Christophe Henrotay, who is based in the Principality. He was indicted by a Belgian judge who had travelled down to Monaco.The probe, which earlier this year saw the Belgian FA headquarters searched, is looking into suspected money-laundering related to transfers including Mitrovic’s 18.5 million euro (13 million pound) move from Anderlecht to St James’ Park in 2015.Henrotay is one of the top football agents in Belgium. His clients include Belgian internationals Thibaut Courtois, the Real Madrid goalkeeper, and winger Yannick Carrasco.A source close to the inquiry told AFP that Henrotay is suspected of taking illegal kickbacks in connection with another transfer.– Cult following –Four of this week’s raids were in Monaco, two in Belgium and one in London, with the cooperation of the Metropolitan Police and British customs and revenue officers.The inquiry is separate from Belgium’s so-called “footballgate” scandal, which has resulted in 20 suspects being charged since October 2018, including agents, referees and club officials, in a vast investigation into fraud and match-fixing.Mitrovic, whose committed, physical style of play won him something of a cult following among Newcastle fans, spent three seasons at the club before moving to Fulham in 2018.His transfer from Anderlecht — Belgium’s most successful club — involved the agents Pini Zahavi and Fali Ramadani, the Derniere Heure newspaper reported at the time of the initial raids in April.Prosecutors have not publicly named anyone connected with the probe, but a judicial source confirmed to AFP in April the Mitrovic transfer was part of the investigation.The earlier raids saw officers search the Anderlecht training centre as well as the Belgian FA headquarters and the offices of One Goal Management company which specialises in transfers.The criminal probe adds to Anderlecht’s woes on the pitch, where the 34-time Belgian champions are languishing a lowly 13th in the league with just a single win in their first six games this season.0Shares0000(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Police conduct raids in London, Monaco and Belgium linked to Serbia’s striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s transfer to Newcastle United © AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVICBrussels, Belgium, Sep 11 – Police investigating suspected fraud linked to the transfer of Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Newcastle United have made seven raids in Belgium, Monaco and London, arresting two people including an agent, officials said Wednesday.Under the direction of a Belgian anti-corruption judge, police and tax officials made seven raids on Tuesday and Wednesday, detaining an agent in Monaco and his assistant in the Belgian city of Liege.
The FINAL Premier League positions? According to computer calculations, in eleventh place it will be Newcastle with 47 points. To find out which clubs are tipped to get relegated, plus the projected positions and points of the bottom ten, click the arrow above, right! – John Carver keeps the Magpies flying in the Premier League, according to Bloomberg’s computer prediction. Job done, in a sense, but will he get the manager’s role full-time? 10 13. Crystal Palace – 40 points – Alan Pardew will lead his charges to safety by getting them to the magic 40-point tally, reckon the Bloomberg boffins. 10 12. Everton – 45 points – No chance of the Toffees getting relegated, says the Super Computer. Roberto Martinez will be thankful but he’s no way near delivering the Champions League football he promised chairman Bill Kenwright unless he wins the Europa League! 14. West Brom – 39 points – The Tony Pulis effect works again in the Premier League? The baseball cap-loving manager will save the Baggies from the drop, says the Super Computer. 19. Leicester City – 32 points – Nigel Pearson’s battlers have had a roller coaster season so far but it looks like it will end in tears as the Super Computer predicts they will finish second from bottom. Unlucky, lads? 17. Aston Villa – 35 points – Tim Sherwood is set to be a hero for the Villans with his management ensuring they remain in the top-flight for another campaign according to Bloomberg’s calculations. 10 10 10 Everton’s poor recent form has left them just six points above the Premier League’s relegation zone – but do they have to fear the drop?Many are claiming a side containing the likes of Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku are too good to go down.Roberto Martinez will certainly be sweating after a tough second season at Goodison Park, but what do Bloomberg’s boffins make of their survival chances?TAKE A LOOK AT THE PREDICTED PREMIER LEAGUE FINAL TOP SEVENThey’ve taken all the latest data and their impressive algorithm has predicted what the bottom of the Premier League will look like.Take a look at the predictions above, and let us know who you think will be relegated… 10 18. Queens Park Rangers – 32 points – Not even the goals of Charlie Austin can save Chris Ramsey’s Super Hoops who, it has been predicted, will finish third from bottom – an agonising three points from safety. 10 10 10 15. Sunderland – 37 points – The Black Cats live to fight another day, according to Bloomberg’s predictions. 10 16. Hull City – 36 points – Steve Bruce’s Tigers haven’t been at their best this season, but Bloomberg’s boffins reckon they will survive just. 20. Burnley – 31 points – And, according to Bloomberg’s boffins, it is Burnley who will be bottom of the pile when the season is completed and return to the Championship.
Carlo Ancelotti, Jurgen Klopp or Brendan Rodgers 1 Brendan Rodgers’ position as Liverpool manager seems like it is hanging by a tether after a string poor results.Some fans have been calling for his head while others are getting behind him, so the Drivetime team want to know who Liverpool fans want as their manager – Carlo Ancelotti, Jurgen Klopp or Brendan Rodgers?
France stars Dimitri Payet and Kingsley Coman celebrate 1 When he’s not curling home free-kicks, Dimitri Payet is pretty handy at laying on goals for team-mates.So, it’s unsurprising the West Ham sensation did just that on Tuesday night as, after bending home a 30-yard set-piece – which you can see here, he later laid on Kingsley Coman’s first ever international strike.With France already 3-2 up against Russia, Payet slipped a pass to the Bayern Munich starlet, who is on loan from Juventus, and the promising 19-year-old tricked his way past Yuri Lodygin before firing home.The ball from Payet was perfectly weighted and will get Hammers fans even more excited as they allow themselves to dream about qualifying for the Champions League.You can see Kingsley Coman’s goal against Russia below…