Fire Kills More Than 90 In Accra, Ghana

fireOver 90 people have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

There are fears that the death toll from the fire could rise as the search for bodies continues.

President John Mahama has visited the burnt-out petrol station and has appealed for calm as authorities try to cope with the aftermath of the fire and heavy rain.

Reports says there are chaotic scenes in the city with cars being carried away by the water and many roads blocked off.

A victim told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to save them from the water coming into his house.

Weather forecasters in the meantime have said that more rain is on its way.

El-Rufai Assures Judiciary Of Independence

el-rufaiThe Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has an assurance of his administration’s total support for the independence of the Judiciary and Rule of Law which he affirmed as a necessary requirement for the sustenance of democratic governance, peace and development of the state.

Addressing principal staff of the Ministry of Justice, led by the Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, during his visit to the ministry on Thursday, Governor El-Rufai said that his administration will not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary as regards the dispensation of justice, funding and rule of law.

He expressed worry over the poor state of prisons across the state due to congestion of prisoners, and appealed to the Chief Judge to ensure the speedy trial of inmates especially those awaiting trial.

The Governor also said that he would liaise with the Chief Judge to review the cases of some of the inmates, particularly those on death row to see how he can grant some of them amnesty if the need arises.

On his part, the Kaduna State Chief Judge thanked the Governor for the unscheduled visit to the ministry, and also used the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges confronting the ministry which includes; lack of Judges for the three arms of the state judiciary, High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal.

He asked for an assessment of the need for the appointment of Sharia and Customary Court judges.

The Governor, while describing the judiciary as a very important arm of government, assured them of his readiness to work closely with the ministry.

El-Rufai’s visit to the ministry excited the workers who came out in large numbers to welcome him. They said that it was the first time a Chief Executive of the state would be visiting the ministry since the inception of the state.

FIFA Crisis: Jack Warner To Reveal All Despite Fears

fifa former vice president, jack warnerFormer FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner, has said that he will reveal all he knows about corruption at the world football body.

Mr Warner, who said he feared for his life,  said he could also link FIFA officials to general elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.

He is one of the 14 people charged by the US over corruption at FIFA.

Another top FIFA official and key witness, Chuck Blazer, had admitted accepting bribes.

BBC says, the admissions came in a newly released transcript of Mr Blazer’s guilty plea from 2013, as part of a wide-ranging US criminal case that has engulfed FIFA and led President, Sepp Blatter to resign.

The US Justice Department also alleged that 14 people charged worldwide accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

Four others had already been charged, including Mr Blazer.

Jack Warner who is 72, resigned from all football activity in 2011 amid bribery allegations and later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago’s Security Minister due to a fraud inquiry.

The former Vice President said he had given lawyers’ documents outlining the links between FIFA, its funding, himself and the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the transactions also included Chief Sepp Blatter.

“I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country,” he said in a political broadcast entitled “The gloves are off”, on Wednesday evening.

He promised an “avalanche” of revelations to come out.

Mr Warner, who denied charges against him, and faced extradition to the US, was released on bail after handing himself to the Police in the Trinidad and Tobago capital, Port of Spain last week.

Wike Tasks Tanker Owners, Sanitation Agency On Movement

governor wike of rivers stateRivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, has called on tanker owners and the Environmental Sanitation Agency in the state to conduct their operations responsibly.

Governor Wike made this call during a meeting with stakeholders at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.

This is as a result of indiscriminate parking of tankers along major roads and the sudden resurfacing of refuse dumps on the streets of Port Harcourt.

It is reported that the situation is currently causing serious traffic and is becoming a source of worry to residents.

In another meeting, the governor told depot operators and tanker owners that their activities pose a security risk to residents in the area.

Both groups however gave assurances that the tankers will relocate from the highways and the streets of the capital city will be made motorable.

Magistrate orders arrest of journalists covering proceedings

Channels Television’s Judiciary Correspondent, Shola Soyele was arrested today (Wednesday March 4, 2012) along with other Journalists covering proceedings at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on the orders of a Magistrate in the court.

The journalists were in court particularly to cover the judgment of a coroner inquiring into the cause of death arising from the August 15, 2010 ghastly accidents along the Otedola bridge end of the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.

It will be recalled that the magistrate handling the inquest failed to give his much awaited verdict last week and instead told lawyers involved in the suit that the verdict was not ready after which he fixed today the 4th of April to deliver.

Trouble however started when a female police prosecutor in mufti simply identified as Rose and attached to one Magistrate A.A Oshoniyi of the Lagos State Judiciary accosted the journalists, raised her voice and shouted on them to vacate the court premises while they gathered for proceedings to commence on the inquest.

Attempts by the journalists to explain their mission fell on deaf ears and in the course of the exchange of words, Magistrate Oshoniyi came out of her chambers and without trying to find the cause of the noise immediately ordered the arrest of the journalists.

A female police officer with the nametag, Mariam Joseph, immediately swooped on Wale Busari, the judiciary correspondent with Silverbird Television, grabbed his cloth and started to drag him away.

His resisted and this led to other judicial staff in the magistrate’s chamber to join in the fray in order to carry out the magistrate’s order.

Magistrate Oshoniyi also ordered the seizure of the Channels Television camera as the person operating it tried to record the unfolding drama.

She subsequently asked the police orderly attached to her to get across to the police.

Within a 5min interval, police officers from the Area F police command in Ikeja swooped on the court and without asking questions pounced on some of the journalists, beating and dragging them into a police bus with number plate Lagos XJ 812 Epe.

Those beaten include Wale Busari of Silverbird Television, Wahab Abdullahi of Vanguard Newspapers, Akintunde Akinwale of Thisday Newspapers and Channels Television’s cameraman Polynous Odedeyi.

Those arrested included Journalists from the Nigerian Compass, Thisday, Leadership, Vanguard, PM News, Nigerian Tribune, and Moment Newspaper.

The scuffle continued at the Area F Police Command as the police officers further unleashed their anger on the journalist especially Wale Busari, alleging that the journalist rudely resisted arrest.

Things would have gotten messier but our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, quickly put a call to two Senior Advocates, Mr Dele Adesina and Mr. Sebastine Hon before her phone was seized.

With the intervention of the senior advocates, the matter went before the Area F Police Commander who later heard both parties and sought an amicable settlement of the matter.

The journalists were later released on the instruction of the Lagos High Court’s Chief Registrar and further intervention of the Chairman and Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja.

Meanwhile Channels Television gathered that the magistrate handling the coroners inquest has since adjourned his verdict to the 25th of April