Two Indonesian Journalists Killed While Mediating In Land Dispute

AFP photo


Two Indonesian journalists mediating a land dispute between a palm oil company and residents have been found dead with multiple stab wounds near a plantation in Sumatra, police said.

The body of Maraden Sianipar was found on Wednesday in a ditch near a palm plantation in Labuhan Batu district, an eight-hour drive from the capital of North Sumatra province.

Police found the remains of Maratua Siregar in the same area a day later.

Both bodies were covered in stab wounds.

Six people have been questioned but no suspect named, local police chief Agus Darojat told AFP.

The pair worked together for a local news portal before going freelance in 2017.

A friend of Siregar said the victims had recently become known for their activism in land dispute issues.

Prior to their deaths, Siregar and Sianipar were working on a campaign to convince the government to allow locals to work on disputed land.

Indonesian journalists associations condemned the deaths and demanded authorities investigate thoroughly.

Many cases of violence against journalists in Indonesia go unsolved, according to the Independent Journalists Alliance, which has reported at least two dozen cases this year alone.

Indonesia is ranked 124th out of 180 countries on the 2019 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.


Six Injured In Nigeria, Cameroon Border Clash

Six Injured In Nigeria, Cameroon Border Clash
File photo

At least six persons were injured and property destroyed following a clash between residents of Danere community of Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State and Bodam region of Cameroon.

The crisis is said to have erupted as a result of protracted tensions over poorly defined international boundaries.

Cross River State’s Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, confirmed the incident to Channels Television during a telephone conversation on Sunday.

Inuwa said led security agencies to the community about six hours away from Calabar, the state capital.

He said peace has been restored to the community and urged youths around the community to remain calm.

Communal Clash In Kwara Leaves 7 Dead – Police

At the on-going hearing of the commission of enquiry set up by the Kwara state government on the lingering crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile, a police inspector from the criminal investigation division has confirmed that seven people were killed during the crisis and not two that have been rumored.

Inspector Gbadebo Adeyemi who was assigned to investigate the mayhem, noted that 9 suspects were arrested for destruction of property worth millions of naira and the loss of about 7 lives which includes a police officer, owner of a hotel and some indigenes of Offa.
He noted that one of the suspects arrested at Oshogbo has been released on bail since no incriminating evidence was found against him adding that 41 persons were injured, 39 already discharged and two still receiving treatment .

The inspector claimed ignorance of the killing of two Erin Ile indigenes adding that both the divisional police officer of Erin Ile and the traditional ruler of did not report such killings.

Another witness for the day is the surveyor general for the state, Lamidi Oyebode who was cross examined by both counsels and explained that his office provided data for the demarcation of the buffer zone and unity road built by immediate past government on the disputed land totaling one thousand seven hundred and thirty two hectares of land.

He denied the notion that the road was purposely built to favor the people of Erin IIe to have access to attacking Offa community adding that the previous state governments have not provided the resources for his office to physically demarcate the boundaries of all local governments in the state.

The chairman of the commission, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye appealed to counsels to maintain decorum and ask questions that could lead to peace in the two communities.

Communal Clash Claims 11 Lives, Displaces over 2,000 persons

11 persons have been confirmed dead and over 2,000 persons displaced in Adadama, Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State following the land skirmish that recently erupted between the two states.

FILE: Communal Clash In Benue State

Acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, who went for an on-the-spot assessment of the affected community, said the government has put machineries in motion to ensure normalcy returns to the area.

While sympathizing with the people  over the loss of lives and property, the acting governor urged them to cooperate with the law enforcement personnel drafted to the area and avoid self- help as it will only worsen the situation since two wrongs cannot make a right.

In his words, “I am here to commiserate with you over the unfortunate incident that happened yesterday, we share with you in your sorrow and we are committed to stand by you to ensure that we get to the root causes of the crises, because no responsible government will fold its arms and watched its citizens been mal-treated not to talk of killing of its citizenry, we will not allow the perpetrators go scot free, all of them will be brought to justice”.

He expressed displeasure over the unfortunate incident despite cease fire meeting to broker peace between the Amagu community in Ikwo Loc al Government Area of Ebonyi and Adamama Community in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State which ended fruitfully and warned against reprisal attack which he noted will only lead to more casualties.

At the Government primary School, Annung, Abi Local Government Area, where the displaced persons are been camped,  the Acting Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham , assured them that government is mobilizing resources to give them temporal relief and assured them of adequate security.

Patience Jonathan, Turai Yar’Adua to settle land dispute out of court

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Sitting in Bwari Area Council has ordered Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, wife of late President Yar’Adua and the current First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to report back to court over the out of court settlement on a disputed 1.84 hectares of land in Abuja.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister Of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, had informed the presiding judge of the court,  Justice Peter Affen, that the Federal Government has made arrangement for an out of court settlement.

The disputed land, plot no. 1347 Cadastral Zone AOO, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT was initially allocated to Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYEF) while Mrs. Yar’adua was First Lady.

The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed revoked the allocation for what he described as “overriding public interest” and reallocated the same land to Mrs. Jonathan for the building of African First Lady Peace Mission Headquarters on the 2nd of November, 2011.

Mrs. Yar’Adua complained that the land allocated to WAYEF on 19 February 2010 was being trespassed upon by Mrs. Jonathan and got a court order dated 5 March 2012 restraining the defendants from affecting WAYEF title and interest over the land.

Those joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Minister of FCT, Federal Capital Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS).

Reacting to the plea for an out of court settlement, Mr. Lagi Innocent, Counsel to WAYEF confirmed to the court that his clients have been approached for an out of court settlement but added that this was not the first time the defendants were making such moves.

He mentioned that WAYEF had already began the process of notice of committal to prison on the defendants by filing forms 48 and 49 adding that it was unfortunate that people could no longer trust the government in the country.

While adjourning the case to 24 September 2012 for report of settlement, Justice Affen “advised parties that the nature of the case is such that if parties can reach amicable settlement it would be better for all sides.”