Cape Verde has reached an agreement with Nigeria as the former has concluded plans to begin direct flight services to Lagos. This is in line with existing Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the two countries. Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure after a meeting with Cape Verde representatives during a sideline meeting at the just concluded the First ICAO/ UNWTO Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air Transport in Africa, held in Sal, Cape Verde.
His words: “We have just concluded a meeting with Cape Verde authority and they have signified interest to start flight operations into Nigeria. Cape Verde is willing to exercise their right in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement and hopefully, to seek a Nigeria airline that will reciprocate through flight operation into Cape Verde.
“They will start operations into Nigeria very soon and we hope that Nigeria airlines will take the opportunity too, as they have already said they are looking forward to a Nigerian airline to partner with.” Apart from the flight operations, the country is also planning to establish its embassy in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. On his twitter handle ‘@hadisirika’, the minister said: “Cape Verde to open an embassy in Abuja this year and also to commence direct flight”. Another source who is privy to the meeting said Cape Verde has agreed to fulfill all necessary commitment and go through the process in line with international best practices.
He also hinted that ‘Cape Verde is ready to begin the operation with its national carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines and they are looking at this year.’ According to the source: “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will embark on inspection trip to Cape Verde to look at their facilities and their airlines in form of an audit before a final approval is given for them to commence operations into Nigeria.”
Police seal off Lagos venue where Soyinka, Falana, others to speak on insecurity
The police on Monday sealed off the venue of a symposium where Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana (SAN) and other speakers where to address the state of insecurity in the country.
The programme organised by a group known as Coalition for Revolution (CORE) was billed to hold at 46, Ibijoke street, Oluyole Bus-stop, Oregun, Lagos.
It has as its theme: “Democracy, State Repression and the State of insecurity in Nigeria”.
However, when New Telegraph showed up at the venue, police vans were seen at strategic locations around the venue preventing people from entering.
Falana, who is present at the venue, has been seen discussing with the policemen, ostensibly to find out why they are being prevented from holding the programme.
Ekweremadu: Kalu debunks shelving medical check-up in Germany
Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Kalu, has described as unfounded, social media reports that he suspended his planned medical check-up to Germany because of what happened to Sen. Ike Ekweremadu.
Kalu disclosed this in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Only recently the former deputy senate president was physically assaulted in Germany at the weekend by some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ekweremadu was invited as a speaker/special guest of honour at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany.
Kalu said that since the Senate commenced its recess, he has been in his country home, interacting with his constituents.
“I have been in my country home interacting with the people and settling disputes. The news that I suspended by planned medical check-up in Germany was not true.
“I was invited by Igbo group in Spain to attend their function, I could not go because of the interaction with my constituents.’’
Kalu had described the action of the IPOB members as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.
The former Abia governor urged Igbo people to respect their leaders at all levels.
He noted that the only way the South-East zone can be prosperous was by embracing dialogue, peace and unity.
Kalu also urged the Embassy of Nigeria in Germany, the German Government and appropriate authorities to bring the perpetrators of the ugly incident to book.
He said: “After watching a viral video of the physical attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweramadu, I was not only disappointed, but irritated and disturbed with the action of some members of IPOB.
“The assault on the senator is a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of age, party affiliation and religion.
“The perpetrators of the uncivilised act must face the wrath of the law.
“Sen. Ekweramadu is not only one of the Igbo leaders, but also a prominent Nigerian and as such should be accorded due respect by all and sundry at home and abroad.
“For the South-East to move forward, the people of the zone must embrace dialogue as a way of resolving pertinent issues and eschew violence.”
Kalu appealed to Igbo people across the globe to be law-abiding and good ambassadors of Nigeria.
Sudan’s ousted President Bashir in court for corruption trial
Sudan’s ousted President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in court in the capital, Khartoum, for his trial on corruption charges.
There’s heavy security around the courthouse.
After he was ousted in April, millions of dollars in cash were allegedly seized from his house.
Bashir’s trial opened last month, but had to be postponed following the death of his mother, reports the BBC.
Police, soldiers deploy in Zimbabwe as opposition challenges protest ban
Soldiers and police deployed in large numbers in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo on Monday to enforce a ban on an anti-government demonstration, as the country’s main opposition party sought to overturn that decision in court.
The street protest was the second called in four days by the Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC), which accuses President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of repression and economic mismanagement.
Authorities had also banned Friday’s gathering in Harare, intended as the launch event of a nationwide protest movement. The MDC called it off, saying it aimed to avert bloodshed after police there rounded up its followers and dispersed them with batons and water cannon.
In a similar show of force in Bulawayo, an MDC heartland, authorities prohibited the march on Sunday and on Monday sent soldiers in trucks into the centre of the city and nearby townships, bolstering police who patrolled on foot and lorries, witnesses said.
Businesses remained open and residents circulated as normal in the city, however.
David Coltart, an MDC senator from Bulawayo and lawyer, called the ban “clearly unconstitutional and unjust”, and told Reuters the party had lodged a court appeal that city magistrates would hear on Monday morning.
The MDC protest movement is rooted in Zimbabwe’s worst economic crisis in a decade, and viewed as a test of Mnangagwa’s willingness to tolerate dissent in a country tainted by a long history of repression under Robert Mugabe, its ruler for nearly 40 years.
Anger is mounting over triple-digit inflation, rolling power cuts and shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel and bread – bringing back memories of the hyperinflation of a decade ago that forced Zimbabwe to ditch its currency, reports Reuters.
APC: Attackers of Ekweremadu are irresponsible elements
… Says they were supported by PDP
Johnchuks Onuanyim, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the attackers of the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as “irresponsible elements” being supported by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the ruling APC, the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who attacked Senator Ekweremedu on Saturday in Nuremberg, Germany, had been supported by PDP against the ruling party.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party called on all to condemn activities of criminals everywhere and at whatever form.
APC condemning the attacks on the former Deputy Senate President, said: “Those involved in the despicable actions and the organisation they represent are unworthy in character. No Nigerian should be assaulted in the manner Senator Ekweremadu was. It is an indecent action and it is below the acceptable standard of behaviour expected of our citizens whether in Nigeria or abroad.
“It is, however, regrettable that some of the people and organisations who had offered these irresponsible elements open support in the past are raising their voices now. It would be recalled that the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its leaders chose to play politics over a matter that called for collective patriotic actions when IPOB raised a terror group in the South East. It is clear that PDP and its other short-sighted co-travellers who were the main cheerleaders of IPOB owe this country an apology. IPOB hid under regional identity to perpetrate criminality having recruited some misguided elements and miscreants.”
Speaking on the opposition political party, APC said: “Are we surprised by the PDP’s hypocritical reaction to the unfortunate attack on Senator Ekweremadu? No! The PDP and their leaders have acted true to type. This is what happens when politicians become myopic and allow narrow sentiments becloud their sense of judgement.”
Calling on all Nigerians to be responsive to security issues, the APC said: “We all have a responsibility to collectively rise against evil wherever we find it and in whatever guise it appears. We hope lessons have been learnt from this unfortunate incident.”
Ohanaeze youths warn IPOB against attack on Igbo leaders
hanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, yesterday warned members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against further attack on Igbo leaders.
The group was reacting to attack on former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu by IPOB in Germany at the weekend.
Ohanaeze youths condemned the attack and urged IPOB to stop assaulting Igbo leaders.
In a statement issued in by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, the Igbo youths said Ekweremadu’s attack was contrary to Igbo norms and values and should be condemned vehemently by all.
It reads: “We condemned vehemently the introduction of mob action against Igbo leaders, as this is a wrong precedence that should be condemned. We believe that there are likely more targeted Igbo leaders on their lists, who may face the consequences of failed leadership in the South-East but Ekweremadu’s assault is contrary to Igbo norms and values and should be condemned vehemently by all stakeholders.
“From intelligence report, Revolution has begun in Igbo land, Igbo leaders should be careful, they are no longer safe across the globe, this assault on Ekweremadu was to test run on what is likely to happen to other marked leaders, if this ugly trend remained unchecked, it will be bring doom to Igbo leadership.
“We call for cease fire on violence against Igbo leaders, but urge that South-East political leaders to find a means to make peace with between all the stakeholders in the South East, especially the youths and agitators.”
Crisis rocks Ondo community over upgrade of monarch
major crisis broke out at the weekend in the oil-rich Aboto in Ilaje Local Government of Ondo State over the upgrade of Chief Behiah Idiogbe as Alaboto of Aboto by the state government.
Sources in the town said there was a breakdown of law and order in Aboto community following the upgrade of Idiogbe from being chief to the status of the monarch of the coastal community.
The source said youths in the community who have been protesting the upgrade of Idiogbe who they alleged is not from that community to the status of a monarch threatening to blow up the bridge linking the community to other parts of the state if the decision is not reversed by the government.
The State Executive Council had effected the upgrading of Chief Beniah Adeola Idiogbe from Oloja of Aboto to the position of Alaboto of Aboto in Ilaje local government area of the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Donald Ojogo said the request for the upgrade had been approved by the State Executive Council 12 years ago, adding that the present government came in and decided to effect the upgrade.
This announcement, sources in the community said had led to the burning of houses and government projects.
The lawyer to Aboto community, Prince Idowu Mafimisebi who confirmed the crisis in the community said the former administration of late Olusegun Agagu in 2007 erroneously announced the approval of Idiogbe as the Alaboto which led to a bloody crisis leading to the death of some persons and razing of many houses in the community.
The lawyer alleged that many indigenes of the town have fled the town for safety since Thursday when the announcement was made by the government.
The statement appealed to the state government to call its foot soldiers to order and allow peace to reign in Aboto community.
Mafimisebi said Agagu’s administration immediately reversed the decision then having discovered it was wrongful. He said the community already has an approved monarch who was selected by the kingmakers.
The statement by Aboto community read ” It is an anathema that a government led by a SAN had to toe the line of a wrongful decision of a previous government made 12 years ago which was reversed consequently after the loss of lives and properties.
“Although correspondences have been sent to the present government through a letter dated July 8 and another one on August 14 to the effect that selection has been done for our client, while the commissioner for local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Attorney-General and Ilaje local government chairman affirmed that the selection of Prince Oyetayo Ofoaye was done in accordance with the Chieftaincy law of Ondo State.
“The Amapetu of Mahin who has been restrained by Ilaje District Council and a court of competent jurisdiction since 1957 from meddling with Aboto land not being a community under him cannot make a person an Oloja over such a community, and it is, therefore, impossible to upgrade a person made an Oloja through an incompetent authority”.
However, Ojogo insisted that Alaboto’s elevation had been approved almost 12 years ago, emphasizing that some encumbrances had delayed the pronouncement.
Ojogo said” The process is what we met on ground and government felt justice must be served. It is not a fresh process; state executive council gave approval for Alaboto’s elevation since 2007, but was not effected by the previous administration”.
Ekweremmadu: Address agitation, resentment of Nigerians, PDP tells FG
Attack, a wake-up call on southern leaders – Fani-Kayode
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had called on the Federal Government to address the agitation and resentment of Nigerians.
The party, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbobdiyan, in a reaction to an attack on former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremmadu by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Nuremberg, Germany said the attack was a reflection of Nigerians within and outside the country on the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last four years.
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, however, said the attack was a clear signal to every political leader in southern Nigeria.
PDP, which condemned Ekweremmadu’s attack, called on the National Assembly to take urgent comprehensive step to address issues leading to the resentment of Nigerians.
It described the assault as “completely unacceptable and does not portray our nation in proper light.
“The PDP therefore charged the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany as well as the German government to take appropriate decisive action on the matter,” it said.
Also, Fani-Kayode, in a statement yesterday, told southern leaders that people of the region were getting angry, and urged them that they “either stand up and defend them or stand aside!
“It takes courage to stand for those that have been unjustly killed in Nigeria. It takes courage to say ‘no’ and to stand up against injustice in a jungle.
“It takes courage to identify and empathise with the enslaved, the oppressed, the poor, the vulnerable and the weak in a killing field and functional zoo.
“Yet we must all do it or stop laying claim to being called leaders.
“When your people and kinsmen are being turned into worthless slaves with little hope for the future and when they are being slaughtered like flies simply because they are southerners and Middle Belters or because of their faith and you say and do next to nothing then somewhere along the line a price has to be paid.
“What happened in Nuremberg yesterday marks the beginning of an awakening.
‘Every southern politician, including yours truly, will be called to account to the people of the south about what he or she did to stop the genocide and ethnic cleansing of southerners in Buhari’s Nigeria.
“Given all this, it is not surprising that when those that attacked Ekweremadu saw him wearing a shirt with the Nigerian coat of arms emblazoned all over it at an Igbo yam festival in distant Germany they simply lost control of themselves, allowed their fury to take over and tore it to shreds.
“I do not seek to justify or condone their behaviour and neither do I support it: I only seek to explain it.
“They are in pain and that pain has turned into a palpable and dangerous rage.
“Those of us that lay claim to being southern leaders would do well to recognise that fact, accept it and resolve to rise up to the challenges that our people are facing.”
Nigeria faced with pilots deficit, manpower shortage
espite over 1,000 pilots that are currently not engaged and roaming the streets, the aviation industry in Nigeria has been hit by shortage of pilots.
Aside Nigeria, the global aviation industry is facing similar problem.
A widespread deficit of pilots across all continents has affected the sector, particularly in recent years, with cases of pilot shortages regularly occurring.
A top official with the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), at the close of a symposium organised by Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Safe Skies Africa Initiative, established 20 years ago by former President Bill Clinton’s administration to support Africa, last week, said the situation is not limited to Nigeria, but global aviation sector.
Nigeria’s case is ironical because while so many young pilots and aircraft engineers are seeking to fly for airlines, airline operators are looking for very experienced pilots and engineers who are not being replaced.
The shrinking size of aircraft in the fleet of airline operators has forced many Nigerian pilots to seek greener pastures outside the shores of Nigeria. Faced with dearth of experienced crew, operators are engaging foreigners to take over the cockpit of their aircraft.
It is not out of place to find foreigners, especially from Eastern Europe, dominate aircraft cockpit in Nigeria.
Whether they are on strike due to low salaries, discouraged by increasingly challenging training courses or attracted by more competitive markets, airport and aircraft workers are decreasing in number, often leading to disruption in flights and limited service across the world.
Figures from Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2018-2037 suggest the situation could even get worse if not urgently tackled.
According to the company’s estimates, the industry will need two million new commercial airline pilots, maintenance technicians and cabin crew members over the next 20 years.
Employee deficit is also being felt the most in air traffic management as there are serious air traffic controllers’ shortage.
Although air traffic figure is very low in Nigeria compared to the United States where controllers guide 70,000 flights a day, while ensuring that 736 million passengers a year arrive at their destinations safely, air traffic controllers in Nigeria still complain of shortage of hands, poor remuneration and unhealthy work place conditions, leading to low morale and lack of concentration most times. Unfortunately, budgetary missteps and bureaucratic red tape have led to a shortage of controllers.
What has been a concern for many years has now reached a crisis level. The nation’s ATC system has the fewest Certified Professional Controllers –1,200 – in nearly three decades.
Controller staffing has fallen nearly 10 per cent since 2010, NAMA missed its hiring goals for the last seven years and there are more controllers eligible to retire today than are currently in the pipeline to replace them.
Experts said significant changes are needed immediately.
An air traffic controller, who spoke to New Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said even hiring the maximum number of controllers that could be trained in 2016 and 2017 could not make up the gap created by the freeze.
He added that new hires still require between two and four years of training to become fully certified, adding that only CPCs can do the training.
His words: “This training often takes these full-fledged controllers away from their primary job of guiding traffic.
“Facilities that are already at critically low staffing levels are facing dire situations as controllers are expected to do more with less.”
There are other concerns as well. In some understaffed facilities, controllers must work overtime to provide adequate coverage. Some facilities lack sufficient staffing, even with overtime, to meet basic needs.
The source further disclosed that controllers are sometimes asked to work additional days, stressing that extended workdays and workweeks have led to significant fatigue problems.
This, he said, has made fatigue one of the agency’s highest priority safety concerns.
An air traffic controller, Victor Eyaru, told our correspondent that the nation’s economy needs a vibrant, modern and growing national airspace and that requires a strong and growing air traffic controller workforce.
YOUNG LAWYERS’ FORUM: ‘Clients’ trust, confidence bane of new wigs’ prospects’
Oluwadamilare Awokoya read law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Awokoya was called to Bar on 25th November, 2014. In this conversation, he shares his foray into the legal profession with JOHN CHIKEZIE
I am Oluwadamilare Awokoya. I am the last child of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Awokoya. I am an indigene of Ijebu Ososa, Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State.
I had my primary school education at Y & Y Nursery and Primary School, Odo-Ona, Ibadan before proceeding to Government College, Ibadan for my Secondary School education and graduated in 2003. I studied Law at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
I was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 25th day of November, 2014.
When I was growing up, I understood that the legal profession wasn’t just respected but a profession adorned by noble men in the society. It was not a daunting task for me to aspire to join the league of these noble men. But more importantly, Law is a tool of social engineering and lawyers are social engineers, who are at the nucleus of the development of any society.
I also saw the legal profession as a veritable platform to defend the defenceless in the society and be the voice of the voiceless.
The legal profession gave me that opportunity.
I actually started my internship at Adekola Kareem & Co. From my university days each time we had a break in school, it was an opportunity for me to be at the firm to continue my training.
We had a Principal, Adekola Kareem Esq., who did his pupilage under the Late Jibola Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and this gave him a good understanding of the essence and importance of pupilage.
He was always taking me to court, giving me an opportunity to ask questions on the proceedings and dole out necessary advice.
Those experiences prepared me for the challenges I was to face at the Nigerian Law School.
Immediately I completed my service year at the Ministry of Justice, Nasarawa State, I joined the Law firm to continue my training.
My pupilage experience was awesome and I learnt a lot because I had a Principal who doesn’t hoard knowledge and would always throw challenges at you. This bolstered my learning process.
I have actually faced challenges as a young lawyer. The first was the meagre salary which I was paid at the early stage of practice until I opted out of collecting salary, although, the situation was ameliorated when my Principal permitted me to handle personal briefs.
This became a good source of income to cushion the effect of the insufficient salary.
The second challenge is that of client’s trust and confidence. We are in a society where people trust so much on grey hair; they christen we young lawyers as “baby lawyers” who are bereft of sufficient legal knowledge and experience. It is common belief that old lawyers are masters of law and are rich in experience. I remember a client fighting my boss for not handling his case personally and for allocating his case to me. My boss had to build confidence in him over my courage and expertise before he gave me the benefit of the doubt. We eventually won the case and since then the client now has so much confidence in my sense of judgement.
Another challenge is the undue influence which our seniors wield in court. The law gives the judge latitude of discretion to exercise in certain circumstances but such must be exercised judicially and judiciously.
However, I have experienced situations in which, when our judges are caught between the option of exercising their discretion in favour of either a senior or a junior lawyer in a particular case, they usually tend to favour the senior as against the junior and some situation, if the junior is rich in advocacy skills, he may utilize it to persuade the judge but not in all circumstances.
Some seniors are also not accommodating and on the mission of discouraging young lawyers in the practice of law although a few are always there to give the needed encouragement.
Memorable event while in the practice
It was the day I won a case for a community, Eda Oniyo Ekiti at the Supreme Court in a case of Oba J. A. Awolola vs. The Governor of Ekiti State (2018) LPELR – 46346 (SC) over an illegal relocation of the headquarters of Ilejemeje local government.
It was on the 14th day of December, 2018 and two communities (Eda Oniyo Ekiti and Iye Ekiti) were waiting for the outcome of the judgment.
The Supreme Court was to deliver about 35 judgments that day and our matter was listed as No. 3 on the Cause List.
When the conclusion of the judgment was read, we won with a cost of 1 million naira awarded against the respondents.
I quickly jumped up to my feet and appreciated the noble Justices. I was very elated to relay the message to my clients, who were far away in Ekiti State, which I was told led to jubilations.
It was really a defining moment in my career and I still, hitherto, relish the experience.
Evaluation of the judiciary in terms of independence and justice delivery
The judiciary has been effective in terms of the performance of its function and justice delivery. I believe when the issue of financial autonomy of the judiciary is finally addressed, it will further enhance its productivity.
The judiciary has in recent years faced deluge of challenges to wit, the raid of the residence of the judges, prosecution of some judges on issues of corruption, bribery and the suspension of former Chief Justice of Nigeria through a questionable ex-parte order, barring of a judge in a Northern State from accessing her court to deliver judgment by a Civil Defence official and most importantly, the flagrant refusal by the government of the day to obey court orders, etc.
I must state here that I stand with the government of the day with its stance to rid the judiciary of corruption but it is important that due process of the law must be observed.
Judiciary needs to engage in internal cleansing to save itself from ridicule.
Collapse of justice system and increased crime rate, insecurity
I really do not understand what could be meant by collapse of justice system. As far as I am concerned, we have a functional and virile justice system.
It is pertinent to state that it is not the duty of the court to checkmate the increase of crime rate and security. That duty is within the purview of the powers of the security operatives. The judges themselves can be victims of crime and insecurity.
It is the duty of the law enforcement agents to rise up to the task of curbing these problems ravaging the country. And when culprits are arrested, they should ensure proper investigation before prosecution. Our law enforcement agents have lost huge number of cases not because the prosecutors are not proactive but for shoddy investigation.
The task of the prosecution in a criminal case is herculean, which of course, is to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Once the prosecution is unable to discharge this duty, there is nothing the court can do than to discharge the accused person.
Lawyers and unending physical attack by security agencies
This issue has become a recurring decimal and unfortunately we young lawyers are usually the victims.
Let me say that this brutalisation of people by security agents is not limited to lawyers. When innocent citizens are brutalised and security agents get away with it, it will definitely transcend to lawyers.
Security agents usually see lawyers as their enemies in the society because it is the lawyers that can question them when they act ultra vires an whenever a lawyer outwits them and make mockery of their knowledge, the next thing they resort to is physical assault.
I have experienced a situation where a trigger-happy police officer under the influence of alcohol, pointed gun at me at a Special Anti-Robbery Squad office and ordered me to leave the Station. I had to leave immediately before he made good his threat as I will not have the opportunity to witness the case after my death.
I believe our Police Officers need to be trained on how to relate with people with utmost civility and courtesy in a sane society as ours. It is also important that people, lawyers inclusive, reciprocate these gestures with respect to our law enforcement agents.
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