Falcons To Complete Task Against Gambians On Monday

FILE PHOTO

 

The Super Falcons will play to secure a place in the 11th  Women Africa Cup of Nations when they take on Gambia’s Queen Scorpions in Lagos on Monday.

Amarachi Okoronkwo’s long-range strike was the difference in the first leg encounter at the Independence Stadium in Bakau last week Wednesday.

On Friday, just like the Falcons, the Queen Scorpions arrived in Lagos, and trained on Saturday morning ahead of the official training at the match venue on Sunday.

Coach Thomas Dennerby sees no sign of the Cup holders imploding on home soil, and the Super Falcons will maintain their record of appearing in every edition of the flagship competition for women in African football if they avoid defeat on Monday evening.

Veteran goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, who was between the sticks in Bakau, will most likely have Faith Michael, Ngozi Ebere, Josephine Chukwunonye and Onome Ebi in front of her, with Halimat Ayinde, Ngozi Okobi and Captain Rita Chikwelu (who missed the first leg in Bakau) to string things in midfield.

Reigning African Woman Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega and Anam Imo are available and will bring the desired quality that the Falcons will need to secure victory.

 

AIDS Patients Sue Gambia’s Ex-President Jammeh Over Fake Cures

Families Of Jammeh's Victims In Gambia Demand 'Truth'
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

 

Three people living with AIDS in Gambia are suing former president Yahya Jammeh.

They alleged that the former president detained and abused them as guinea pigs to test his supposed cure for AIDS.

“My clients are claiming damages for false imprisonment and (declaring) that the defendant subjected the plaintiffs to inhumane and degrading treatment contrary to the constitution” while they underwent Jammeh’s alleged HIV/AIDS cure, one of their lawyers Combeh Gaye told AFP shortly after filing the suit on Thursday.

Jammeh, who has lived in Equatorial Guinea since January 2017 when armed intervention helped end his tough 22-year rule, claimed to possess a range of mystical gifts, including the power to cure asthma, epilepsy and sterility as well as AIDS, using plants and chants.

The AIDS patients who have gone to court are two men of 63 and 64 years old and a woman of 51. They are members of associations that support people living with HIV/AIDS.

Shortly after Jammeh in January 2007 publicly announced his “discovery” of an AIDS cure, the three plaintiffs and six other people, including a minor, were invited to meet the president at State House and became his “first batch” of experimental subjects.

In their court case, they testified that top among Jammeh’s “rules was that the members of the group should immediately desist from using any anti-retroviral drugs and/or any other form of conventional medication” given to people with HIV/AIDS.

Jammeh kept the patients locked up during some six months of treatment until July 2007, brushing aside their objections to being filmed during the alleged therapeutic sessions. They later learned that videos had been broadcast on state media, including official GRTS television, the three plaintiffs said.

Despite the ineffective and painful nature of the supposed remedy, the first batch of subjects backed up Jammeh’s claim to have cured them when they were discharged. The court case specifies that they “were compelled by fear and threats from the defendant’s agents”.

Then health minister Tamsir Mbowe joined Jammeh in “false and misleading claims”, encouraging “numerous” other people with HIV actively to seek magical treatment, the plaintiffs argue.

A Muslim onetime soldier, Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup in the former British colony, a small enclave of a nation inside Senegal either side of the Gambia river and with an Atlantic seaboard.

From 1996, the increasingly erratic leader won successive presidential elections until he was beaten by opposition candidate Adama Barrow in December 2016, agreed to step down and then changed his mind.

After a six-week political crisis, Jammeh left the country on January 21, 2017, in the wake of military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and a final mediation bid.

AFP

Senate Probes Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerian Judges In Gambia

Senators Disagree As Abaribe Questions Buhari’s Competence
File photo

 

The Senate has said it will probe allegations of ill-treatment and xenophobic attacks on Nigerian Judges and other legal personnel serving in the Gambia.

The Joint Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights, Legal matters and Foreign Affairs have been mandated to carry out investigations on the matter and submit a report to lawmakers for consideration.

A Federal Lawmaker Senator David Umar drew the attention of the Senate to allegations of arbitrary removal or dismissal from office of Nigerian Judges and judicial officers without reasonable cause and without recourse to the bilateral agreement and the Gambia Judicial Service Commission.

The lawmaker moved the motion to investigate the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Gambia and make recommendations on them.

Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, also raised concerns over the attacks in the state.

He said, “Matters such as this should be of concern as we owe our citizens the duty &r responsibility to protect them.

“This is a matter that concerns two very friendly countries and it is important that we know the true facts and make important recommendations”.

The Senate, therefore, urged the Federal Government to urgently address all cases of xenophobic treatment allegedly suffered by Nigerian Nationals in the Gambia, South Africa and any other African country where similar Agreement exists.

Families Of Jammeh’s Victims In Gambia Demand ‘Truth’

Families Of Jammeh's Victims In Gambia Demand 'Truth'
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

 

Families of the victims of ex-Gambia president Yahya Jammeh’s regime demonstrated on Tuesday to demand the “truth” about their deaths and disappearances.

They accuse Jammeh, who ruled the West African country for 22 years, of rampant corruption and human rights abuses including forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions.

“We want justice now,” around 30 protesters shouted as they marched in Banjul, an AFP journalist said.

Last year, authorities announced that the remains of Gambians killed while fighting for the end of the Jammeh regime had been exhumed.

“A year later, families and friends have no information about the whereabouts or fate of the deceased,” said Zainab Lowe, sister of a member of the presidential guard who disappeared in 2006.

“This time the waiting is over. The truth must be told and we need justice,” she added, on behalf of the families of the victims.

Jammeh was defeated by Adam Barrow in a December 2016 presidential election, a result which he fought for weeks until the threat of a regional military intervention.

He is currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

AFP

Gambia Arrests Former President Jammeh’s Ex-Spies Over Detention Death

Gambia Election: Jammeh Given Last Chance To Resign
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

 

Ten members of Gambia’s former spy agency have been detained on suspicion of murdering a political activist who led a protest during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh’s rule, police said Tuesday.

Solo Sandeng, the organising secretary of the United Democratic Party, was arrested in April 2016 for fronting a street protest demanding electoral reform. He died in detention.

“Two have been granted bail and eight are still in custody,” superintendent David Kujabie Tuesday told AFP.

Nine staff at the former National Intelligence Agency, including former director general Yankuba Badjie, are currently on trial at the Banjul High Court for their alleged role in the murder as well as the torture of opposition activists.

Thirteen witnesses have so far testified in the case which continues to attract crowds but has suffered repeated delays since it opened a year ago.

The UDP was the main opposition party in the West African state under Jammeh who used the intelligence agency to enforce his rule.

Jammeh seized power in a bloodless coup in 1994 and ruled the former British colony with an iron fist for 22 years, during which he was accused of rampant corruption and human rights abuses.

He had himself elected and re-elected president until he lost a vote in December 2016 to opposition candidate Adama Barrow.

After a six week standoff, Jammeh was finally forced to hand over power and left the country on January 21, 2017, after the intervention of the Economic Community of West African States.

Barrow’s government has pledged to protect human rights, including freedom of expression and press freedom, which were tightly controlled under Jammeh.

AFP

Jammeh’s Loyalists To Face Charges In Gambia

Gambia Election: Jammeh Given Last Chance To Resign
Former Gambia’s President, Jammeh

A dozen Gambian soldiers will face charges for nine different offences, an army spokesman told AFP on Saturday, amid fears that a faction of the military remains loyal to ex-president Yahya Jammeh.

The charges were laid out at a court martial hearing held on Friday, where 12 officers were presented to a military panel and a civilian judge in a case shrouded in secrecy.

“Twelve army officers were arraigned before a court martial at Yundum barracks yesterday,” army spokesman Lamin Sanyang told AFP.

“They are charged with nine criminal counts, but for now I cannot go into the details,” he added.

Pleas will be entered on November 27, when the men are expected to be formally charged.

Separately, military sources told AFP the charges relate to sedition accusations and suspicions of loyalty to former President Jammeh, who ruled the small west African nation with an iron fist for 22 years.

A coalition of opposition parties fielded standard-bearer Adama Barrow as their candidate in December 2016 elections, who ultimately defeated Jammeh and took over the presidency in late January.

There have been concerns about lingering Jammeh supporters in the ranks of the army, evoked back in July by Colonel Magatte Ndiaye, the head of a Senegalese army contingent still deployed to The Gambia by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He told AFP that rebel elements were intent on destabilising the country and working with exiled Jammeh-era top brass, though President Barrow has said such reports are “hugely exaggerated”.

Cross River Set To Float Cally Air And Shipping Lines

airline and shipping line floating plan underway in cross riverCross River State Government has completed plans to float its own airline as well as a shipping line, as part of efforts to increase revenue and lower dependence on federal allocation.

Addressing reporters in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said the state was taking full advantage of its huge tourism potentials and vast maritime resources by going into both airline and maritime services.

Huge Maritime Resources

The governor noted that while Cally Air was expected to transport tourists from all over Nigeria to the beautiful tourist sites dotted across the state, particularly the famous Obudu Ranch Resort, the shipping line would concentrate primarily on cargo services, especially along the shoreline of the Gulf of Guinea.

Ayade maintained that “Cross River State is only taking full advantage of its huge maritime resources by focusing on maritime trading particularly, cabotage services by providing merchant vessels that will ply the Gulf of Guinea and provide services to countries along this shoreline.

“In our 2017 budget, there is a provision for a merchant vessel that will provide maritime businesses with Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroun and the entire stretch of the shoreline.

“There is another provision for Wharf landing and other support services. So, we are also going to have a fabrication yard and other allied maritime services as we refocus on broadening the maritime sector in the state”.

Justifying government’s decision to venture into maritime services, Professor Ayade reasoned that with the maritime trade and connectivity along the region, his administration was confident that the return on the investment would definitely be huge and contribute immensely to the budget of infinite transposition.

“Our vessels are already berthing in Calabar as part of investment in 2017 because we are establishing business outlays in some West and Central African countries dealing mostly on petroleum products and because Cross River State is looking at an aggregate of driving an industrialised, business-like module for governance, soon, you will see us go into full time trading.

“That is why in our budget, we have budgeted about 14 billion Naira to expand investment in this direction to the Gambia,” the Governor explained.

Professor Ayade further told reporters that the state had the capacity to handle the huge investments, knowing full well that, it is a very delicate combination of public-private service administration structure running it from a private business perspective.

Cross River is announcing its plan two days after Imo State government said it had taken delivery of the first aircraft, to kick start, as the first state owned commercial airline, Imo Air.

During the official launch of the new airline at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Governor Rochas Okorocha said the investment by the state government would boost economic activities in the state.

He added that it would increase the state Internally Generated Revenue and also generate employment opportunities for teaming unemployed youths in the state.

Gambia: Millions Missing After Jammeh Flies Into Exile

Gambia Election: Jammeh Given Last Chance To ResignOver 11 million dollars is missing from the Gambia’s state coffers following the departure of long-time leader Yahya Jammeh.

An Adviser to President Adama Barrow, Mai Ahmad Fatty, said financial experts are trying to evaluate the exact loss.

Meanwhile, reports say luxury cars and other items were seen being loaded on to a Chadian cargo plane on the night Mr Jammeh left the country.

The former president flew into exile on Saturday, ending his 22 years in power.

He had refused to accept election results but finally left after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention.

ECOWAS, AU, UN Congratulate Gambian President, Adama Barrow

ECOWAS, AU, UN Congratulate Gambian President, Adama BarrowThe ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations have congratulated the President of the Republic of The Gambia, Mr Adama Barrow, on the occasion of his swearing-in and assumption of office.

This is following his victory at the presidential election of December 1, 2016 and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.

The joint statement was released on Thursday evening after Adama Barrow took the oath of office in neighbouring Senegal as incumbent Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations equally congratulate the people of The Gambia who have demonstrated patience, discipline, maturity and resolve to defend their popular will, as expressed in the 1st December, 2016 presidential election and during the post-electoral crisis.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again commend the independence, professionalism and commitment of members of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia and all political parties for exercising the needed restraint that paved way for the peaceful conduct of the 1st December, 2016 presidential election.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations commend the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Her Excellency (Mrs) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, as well as His Excellency  Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator, and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana and Co-Mediator, for the efforts undertaken for the resolution of the post-electoral impasse in The Gambia in full compliance with constitutional legality to ensure peaceful transfer of power.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations urge His Excellency Adama Barrow to take all necessary steps to strengthen national unity, social harmony and peace in the Gambia with a view to addressing the socio-political and economic challenges that have hampered poverty reduction in the country.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations once again urge the Security Forces to observe neutrality and conduct themselves in a civil manner, and to strongly support President Barrow by maintaining public order and security which are essential to the stability and development of the country.

“The ECOWAS Commission, African Union and United Nations reaffirm their commitment to continue accompanying The Gambia in consolidating democracy and rule of law in the country,” the statement reads.

ECOWAS Mandates Deployment Of Forces To The Gambia

ECOWAS Mandates Deployment Of Forces To The GambiaThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has formally approved the deployment of troops to The Gambia.

In a statement signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, the federal government explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in The Gambia in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.

The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.

 

Adama Barrow Sworn-In As Gambian President

Adama Barrow Sworn-In As Gambian PresidentAdama Barrow has been sworn in as Gambian President in neighbouring Senegal as incumbent Yahya Jammeh refuses to leave office.

The man who won The Gambia’s disputed election, took the oath at the Gambian embassy in Senegal.

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime,” Barrow said in a speech immediately after taking the oath of office.

Adama Barrow, born 16 February 1965, is a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP).

Prior to his presidential campaign, he was the treasurer of the UDP and operated a real estate agency.

He established the agency, Majum Real Estate, in 2006 after returning from studies in London, England.

He has been exiled in Senegal having had his victory at the presidential election of 2016 rejected by the former president, Yahya Jammeh.

He arrived Senegal at the weekend following an invitation to attend a summit of African leaders who back his victory.

He missed the Monday funeral of his eight-year-old son who died after being mauled by a dog, as he was advised to remain in Senegal for his safety.

Jammeh, who has been in power since a 1994 coup, initially conceded to Barrow before he then back-tracked, saying the vote was flawed and there had to be a re-run.

Overnight talks with African leaders to convince him to stand down failed.

Another Set Of Nigerian Troops Leaves For Gambia Ahead Of Inauguration Date

nigerian-troops-to-gambiaThe Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday airlifted troops to the Gambia, a day before the initial time set for the inauguration of the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow.

Gambian parliament had earlier on Wednesday extended the president’s remaining days in office by 90 days.

The deployment is part of efforts to ensure that President Yahya Jammeh will hand over power to the winner of the December 1 presidential election.

ECOWAS, had warned that military force may be considered should Mr Jammeh insist on staying in power.

nigerian-troops-to-the-gambia
Troops ready for Gambia operation a day to the inauguration date

The Nigerian contingents will join troops from Ghana and Senegal.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Amaka Okafor, who joined the troops before their departure in Kanji in Niger State, said that the Chief of Air Staff had earlier arrived at the 117 Air Combat Training Camp In Kanji to address the troops being deployed as part of a stand-by force in a yet to be named operation in the Gambia.

“Your Mission Is Very Clear”

ECOWAS decided to engage its military after the mediating team led by Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, could not convince President Jammeh to relinquish power to the president-elect of Gambia.

Mr Jammeh had earlier said he would accept the result of the election but changed his mind few days later, insisting that another election should be held.

He had filed a suit but the judiciary of the country refused to give its ruling in the case.

air-force-nigeria
Nigerian Air Force aircraft departs Nigeria for The Gambia

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal, Sadiq Abubakar, told the contingent before their departure from the Air Force Unit to be of good behaviour, observe safety and precautionary measures as they carry out their operations.

He gave the assurance that all the troops needed would be provided.

The Air chief said: “I want to leave nobody in doubt that you are professionals. I want you to also leave nobody in doubt that you are a highly disciplined force.

“Your mission is very clear. Your commander is with you. What we want is for you to get there, do you work professionally and conduct yourselves as disciplined force”.

nigerian-military-troops-to-gambia
A 200-man contingent left Nigeria for The Gambia to make good ECOWAS’ threat of engaging force to ensure that President Jammeh leaves office

Done with the address, the troops made their way to their various aircraft participating in the operation while the support team made their way to the Charlie 130 Aircraft.

The other pilots took their positions in the various fighter jets participating in the operation.

The 200-man contingent include 20 air crew and 80 combat support team for the first batch of the Nigerian Air contingent in the yet to be named operation.

Their departure came a day after Naval Ship NNS Unity left the shores of Nigeria for the Gambia, reading for any military force.