Court Of Appeal President Calls For Regular Training For Judges

Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem in a meeting with others.


The Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has called on the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to work out modalities for early and pragmatic training of Justices and Judges on the usage of the Manual for Election Petition Tribunal (EPT) as a way of broadening their scope of understanding its application.

She said: “I would like IFES to consider having more regular workshops for Justices and not just when elections are around the corner. This will also allow for proper feedback on how well people appreciate this effort and how your organisation intends to implement the issues raised to ensure that the process is better executed for positive result”.

Justice Dongban-Mensem made the plea when the Country Director of IFES, Mr Hermann Thiel, led the Deputy Country Director, Seray Jah and the Project Manager, Mr Simon Fanto to brief her on plans being made to convene a debriefing conference of the Justices and Judges who participated in the 2019 Election Petition Tribunal Processes as well as review the Manual for Election Petition Tribunal (EPT).

The IFES Country Director, Mr Hermann Thiel disclosed that their visit was of dual-purpose, first to familiarise himself with the new Acting President of the Court of Appeal and intimate her on the organisation’s activities.

The second purpose was to chart a new beginning on the way forward on how to overcome the challenges the COVID-19 poses in bringing back the 250 Judges drawn from the 36 states of the Federation, who participated in EPT for a debriefing conference especially, with the Federal Government’s guidelines on social distancing, which bans movement and official gatherings in the country.

In their contributions, the IFES Project Manager, Mr Simon Fanto and the Deputy Country Director, Mr. Seray Jah informed Justice Dongbam-Mensah that apart from training judges, IFES also collates feedback from the judges which helps in the review of the manual for election petition tribunals.

“As a tradition, at the end of the tribunal sittings, the post-election conference takes place where all the Judges come together to share experiences on what had happened while in the field, with a view to understanding the best processes that assisted them and those that posed challenges” Mr Fanto reiterated.

Specifically, the Project Manager informed the Acting President that the fall-out from such interface formed the bases for future reforms.

“Now that there are a lot of reforms that are ongoing, especially at the National Assembly as well as the legal components, we are primarily here to discuss and seek your Lordship’s guidance on how to reconvene the Post-Election Petition Tribunal Conference, review the recommendations from the discussions; this will trickle down to the production of the 2023 fourth edition of the Manual.”

“We also would like to brainstorm on what strategies to evolve, considering the realities on ground, because IFES brings all the Judges together-about 250 in number for the debriefing Workshop/Review, but the realities on ground may not permit that to happen. So, we are suggesting the use of ICT tools as the key strategy on the way forward the Deputy Country Director added.”

On the way forward, while commending IFES for a job well done in partnering with the Court of Appeal, the Acting President, observed that although it is a difficult period now necessitating thinking out of the box, on how things can be done differently, to achieve same results irrespective of the pandemic while leveraging on ICT tools to reach out to these Justices and Judges, suggested a decentralisation of the project to the six geopolitical zones of the country.

For emphasis, Justice Dongban-Mensem noted that enormous documents are presented before these Judges during the tribunal sittings, saddling them with a lot of paperwork which according to her is not a good time for the manual to be given to them.”

She suggested that if these manuals are made available ahead of time for the Judges to study and, follow-up workshops are organised specifically to address issues to be raised by the 250 Judges who participated in the Election Petition Tribunal, it will ease the tension being faced due to insufficient time for the study and assimilation of the guidelines, as contained in the Manual.

Justice Dongban-Mensem remarked that the idea whereby a lot of documents were dumped on Judges, who were expected to go through such materials without proper guidance, did not augur well for smooth justice delivery and urged IFES to take a closer look and find ways to address the issue.
“In our rules, we say that briefs should not be more than a certain number of pages; yet they will reduce the font size of such briefs, compressing 60 pages to 30 pages, thereby putting excess pressure on our eyes.

“In planning the next edition of the manual, I think the Senior Advocates of Nigeria and lawyers should be involved because their roles are crucial in such decision-making process,” the Acting President suggested.

Highlighting the point raised by the Acting President, the Chief Registrar, Mr Ibrahim Aliyu recalled that in 2015, IFES had seminars and interactions with the tribunal Judges where they shared their experiences in the field.

He said through the feedback, updating the manual will give first-hand information to the tribunal Judges for improved adjudication on electoral matters.

NAF Trains Flight Nurses, Configures C-130H Aircraft To Airlift Wounded Soldiers

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, inspects some facilities of the Force at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. Credit: NAF


The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has conducted training for some of its flight nurses and aircrew to build their capacity for airlifting wounded soldiers from battlefields.

This according to the NAF is for the effective and efficient conduct of aeromedical evacuation missions to airlift wounded soldiers from various theatres of operation to appropriate treatment facilities.

The NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola who made the announcement in a statement on Thursday said that the training is aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the aircrew.

He noted that this will enable them to ensure that wounded personnel are stabilized and provided necessary life support from point of enplaning until they arrive at the destination facility.

He added that the NAF C-130H aircraft has been configured to carry specialized stretchers for the patients along with necessary life support equipment, including patient monitors and ventilators.

The week-long training which ended on Thursday, April 23, was held at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja using the C-130H aircraft.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who was also on ground expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the training and simulation exercise.

READ ALSO: Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin

According to him, it aptly depicted what was expected of flight nurses and other crew members while conducting aeromedical evacuation of wounded soldiers from the battlefield to the locations of designated medical facilities.

He noted that the capability, which would reduce the risk to wounded personnel and enhance their chances of survival, could also be deployed for the emergency movement of COVID-19 patients if so required.

The CAS disclosed that the NAF had, over the past four and half years, made concerted efforts to build the capacity of its Medical personnel to not only ensure the provision of qualitative healthcare services to personnel and their families but also to ensure effective care for personnel wounded in action.

To this end, NAF trauma/emergency care teams had been set up in all theatres of operation. He noted that this has helped to boost morale and fighting spirit of the personnel.

Air Marshal Abubakar, therefore, commended the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command as well as the Chief of Medical Services and the Commander of the 301 Heavy Airlift Group for their efforts in ensuring the effective conduct of the training as well as the configuration of the C-130H.

Dembele Pulls Out Of Barca Training

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona during the warm-up before the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on April 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. AFP


Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele pulled out of training on Monday amid fears the Frenchman has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

“During this morning’s training session, Ousmane Dembele felt some discomfort in his right leg as a consequence of muscle fatigue,” Barcelona said in a statement. “He will continue with his rehabilitation.”

Dembele has not played for Barca since November 27 but had been expected to return this month.

The 22-year-old has endured a spate of injuries since moving to Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and has only made nine appearances this term.



Three US Soldiers Killed In Training Accident


Three US soldiers were killed and three others injured in the state of Georgia Sunday in an accident involving the armored combat vehicle they were in, the military said in a statement.

The army provided no details on the nature of the accident, which is under investigation, except to say it occurred during an exercise at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

“Six soldiers were involved, with three pronounced deceased on site, and three more evacuated to Winn Army Community Hospital where they are being treated and evaluated for their injuries,” an army statement said.

Major General Tony Aguto, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, called it a “heartbreaking day.”

The soldiers, who were in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, were from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.


Bayern’s Record-Signing Hernandez Begins Training

Bayern Munich’s new French defender Lucas Hernandez takes part in the first session of the training camp in Rottach-Egern, southern Germany, on August 6, 2019. Christof STACHE / AFP


Bayern Munich’s record signing Lucas Hernandez took part in his first squad training session on Tuesday, four months after a serious knee operation, the Bundesliga champions reported on their website on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old French World Cup winner has yet to feature for Bayern since his 80 million euro ($89 million) move from Atletico Madrid in March.

His medical showed damage to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee that required an immediate operation.

READ ALSO: Zidane Snubs Bale Again For Madrid Friendly

Hernandez is unlikely to be ready for the opening game of the season against Hertha Berlin on August 16 but it is good news for his new teammates and manager Niko Kovac.

“I think the most important thing, for the time being, is that he’s properly fit and starts to settle in,” German international Leon Goretzka told the Bayern website.

The defender’s return coincides with a media broadside aimed at the club by striker Robert Lewandowski who has called on Bayern to bring in at least three new players.

“In attack, we lost three players in the shape of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and James (Rodriguez),” Lewandowski told Sport Bild on Wednesday.

“And for the moment we have no new recruits for these positions.”

While Robben has retired, Frenchman Ribery is out of contract and seems likely to be heading to Saudi Arabia while James has come to the end of a two-year loan period and has returned, for the moment at least, to Real Madrid.

Veteran defender Rafinha has also left in order to return to Brazil.

So far this summer, Bayern have only reinforced their defence with French world champions Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard while promising 19-year-old striker Jann-Fiete Arp has arrived from Hamburg.

The German champions have also been trying for weeks to attract Leroy Sane from Manchester City but no announcement has yet been made.

“Even if Sane comes, we need another winger,” says Lewandowski who also called for a defensive midfielder or offensive midfielder.

Bayern’s core team is made up of top-class internationals but, after the summer movement, the bench is now very shallow.

“Playing an entire season with 13 or 14 experienced professionals, it’s going to be tough,” warns Lewandowski who has already discussed the matter with club president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“We have 50 or 60 games, so do not just think about next week but at three, four, five or six months. And for that, we do not have enough players. Hoeness and Rummenigge know my opinion.”

Hoeness and Rummenigge have promised to reinforce the playing ranks as they set their sights on the double of Bundesliga and Champions League.


Neymar Finally Shows Up For PSG Training

(file) Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and OGC Nice at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.  Lionel Bonaventure / AFP


Neymar showed up Monday for training at Paris Saint-Germain according to French media reports, a week late and just days after upsetting the club by saying his best football memory was beating PSG when he played for Barcelona.

PSG resumed training last Monday but Neymar, linked to a move back to Barcelona, turned up a week late according to the club, while the player’s camp maintained he had a prior agreement to stay away.

PSG responded last week by threatening to take “appropriate action” against the world’s most expensive player who said he had stayed in Brazil to attend a charity five-a-side football tournament run by his foundation, the Neymar Institute.

READ ALSO: AFCON 2019: We Want To Write Our Own History, Says Algeria Coach

On Saturday, 27-year-old Neymar, who joined PSG for 222 million euros ($250 million) in 2017, made a series of remarks that strained his relationship further with the club and sparked outrage on social media.

Asked by online sports channel Oh My Goal about his best memory in football, the troubled superstar said it was Barcelona’s incredible 2017 Champions League victory over PSG when he was part of the team that overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit by winning 6-1 in the second leg.

Earlier in the day, Neymar posted a 10-second video of himself in a Barcelona shirt and a quote from the Bible: “No weapon turned against you will prosper.”


Messi Returns To Argentina Team After Eight-Month Absence

Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi (L) gestures next to assistant coach Lionel Scaloni during a training session at the team’s base camp in Bronnitsy, near Moscow, on June 11, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament.  JUAN MABROMATA / AFP


Lionel Messi was named in the Argentina squad Thursday for the first time since the World Cup, ending a self-imposed eight-month absence.

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni named the five-time World Player of the Year in his squad for the friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco.

READ ALSO: Ajax Knock Shambolic Real Madrid Out Of Champions League

The Barcelona star hasn’t pulled on the light blue and white national team jersey since Argentina were dumped out of the World Cup last June by eventual winners France.


Ronaldo Resumes Training Ahead Of Spal Clash

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo trains prior to the Italian Serie A football match Udi-nese Calcio vs Juventus FC at the Dacia Arena stadium in Udine on October 6, 2018.


Cristiano Ronaldo gets back to business for Italian champions Juventus against SPAL on Saturday after missing Portugal’s qualification for the Nations League semi-finals amid reports he has been snubbed for the final three in the Ballon d’Or award.

The 33-year-old Ronaldo has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or five times but could be excluded from the top three, with the winner to be revealed in Paris on December 3.

Ronaldo was rested from Portugal’s last four internationals as they became the first team to qualify for the Nations League finals.

During the international break Ronaldo took a short break in London, amid reports he had got engaged to his Spanish girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, before returning to train in Turin.

“All I can tell you is that when I got back I saw Cristiano training the way he does every day, as a professional and giving hs all,” Juventus teammate Mattia De Sciglio told Sky Sports Italia.

“I can’t tell you because I don’t know anything about this,” the Italian defender added of the Ballon d’Or.

“That’s all I can say, and what will be, will be.”

Juventus host SPAL — four points above the drop zone — looking to maintain their six-point lead over Napoli, who host bottom club Chievo.

The Turin giants then host Valencia in a crucial Champions League match on Tuesday after a dramatic loss to Manchester United.

Massimiliano Allegri can count on Paulo Dybala, back after scoring his first goal for Argentina, Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo and Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

But German midfielder Emre Can is still on the mend after returning to Turin following thyroid surgery.

“Matches straight after the international break are always trickier,” said defender De Sciglio.

“SPAL play good football and have caused problems for the big teams they’ve faced so far.”

SPAL were riding high after three wins in their first four games this season, but have won just one game since, shocking Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

 ‘Decisive moment’ 

Napoli host Chievo, as injury-hit Inter Milan, a further three points back in third, host second-from-bottom Frosinone looking to keep pace with the top two.

“It’s a decisive moment for the season,” said Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose side host Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.

“So far, things have gone well, but we need a further effort, we must be ready.

“It’s going to be a fundamental run of games coming up, as we must be ready in Serie A and the Champions League. Getting through that group would be really satisfying.

“The Scudetto is a dream for us and it is not a utopia. Utopias are impossible, dreams can be realised.”

Napoli last won the Italian league title in 1990.

Inter’s seven-match winning run ended with a heavy 4-1 defeat at Atalanta last time out.

And Luciano Spalletti’s side need to secure maximum points with upcoming matches against Roma and Juventus.

But they have injury problems in defence with Brazilian Dalbert and Croatian Sime Vrsaljko sidelined.

“The loss again Atalanta was a heavy slap for us,” said Ghanaian defender Kwadwo Asamoah.

“We have to learn from it and give an important signal before the (Champions League) match against Tottenham.”

Lazio, in fourth, host AC Milan, just one point behind and playing without suspended Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, with sixth-placed Roma travelling to Udinese before their Champions League game against holders Real Madrid.

Genoa and Sampdoria go head to head on Sunday night in the city’s first derby since the bridge disaster last August that killed 43 people.

Fixtures (all times GMT)


Udinese v Roma (1400); Juventus v SPAL (1700); Inter Milan v Frosinone (1930)


Parma v Sassuolo (1130), Bologna v  Fiorentina,  Empoli v Atalanta, Napoli v Chievo (1400), Lazio v AC Milan (1700), Genoa v Sampdoria (1930)


Cagliari v Torino (1930)


Usain Bolt Takes Break From Football Training

Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt (2nd L) warms up before he plays for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in a pre-season practice match against a Central Coast amateur selection team in Gosford, New South Wales on August 31, 2018. Andrew Murray / AFP


Sprint legend Usain Bolt’s football training has been put on hold after he flew out of Australia for a “previously planned commitment”, his A-League club has said.

The Jamaican superstar is pursuing his long-held dream of playing professional football and arrived in Gosford, 75 kilometers (47 miles) north of Sydney, last month for training with the Central Coast Mariners.

The 32-year-old has been with the A-League side for three weeks and in late August made a 20-minute cameo for the club in a pre-season game.

“Usain Bolt will be abroad from Sunday, 9 September to Sunday, 16 September for a previously planned commitment,” the Mariners said on Saturday.

“This commitment was agreed between Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners before his training period commenced with the club.”

The team did not say where Bolt was travelling to, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that he was going to France for an event.

Bolt’s arrival has generated excitement on the Central Coast, with some 10,000 people packing the local stadium for his football debut.

The world’s fastest man has struggled with his fitness since arriving but said last month that he hoped to be ready to go by the start of the A-League season in mid-October.


PSG Welcome World Cup Winners Back To Training

(From L) Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain’s French defender Presnel Kimpembe, Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian defender Marquinhos and Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar celebrate at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP


France’s World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after an extended break.

The trio underwent routine medical tests on Monday with others who took part in Russia, where Mbappe was named the best young player after scoring four goals as France won the title for the second time.

The 19-year-old will wear the number seven shirt this season, moving up from the 29 jerseys he was given the last term in his first campaign with the club.

“The number gives an indication of your ambitions, the player that you want to be. It’s a new beginning,” Mbappe said in a video posted by the club on social media.

PSG, who beat Monaco 4-0 in the Champions Trophy in China at the weekend, kick off their quest for a sixth French title in seven years at home to Caen on Sunday.


German Clubs May Change Training As Bellarabi Collapses

Karim Bellarabi


The collapse of Germany winger Karim Bellarabi during a pre-season match this week has forced Bundesliga clubs to rethink their training schedules due to the heatwave currently gripping northern European.

The 28-year-old broke down during a friendly 2-0 win for Bayer Leverkusen at fourth-division minnows Wuppertal on Tuesday.

He was later diagnosed as having suffered a circulatory collapse, due to temperatures well over 30 degrees Celsius.

Bellarabi, who last played for Germany in 2016, was released from hospital in Wuppertal, near Duesseldorf, on Wednesday and is expected to return to training in the coming days.

Leverkusen said the winger “suffered excessive physical strain due to extreme heat”.

Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich suspects Bellarabi simply did not drink enough water during the match, “but the heat was extreme, it was brutal on the body even for those not playing”.

The German weather service in Potsdam, near Berlin, is forecasting the hot weather here to continue well into next month.

With the Bundesliga set to resume on August 24, some clubs are rethinking their training schedules or moving sessions indoors.

Leverkusen have switched Friday’s planned outside afternoon training session to 0930 local time (0730 GMT).

Likewise, on Thursday, Schalke, who are 90 kilometres (56mi) away in Gelsenkirchen, brought their training slot forward to 1000 in an attempt to avoid the heat.

“Bellarabi may not have been fully fit,” Prof. Dr. med. Wilhelm Bloch from the German Sports University in Cologne told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

“During exercise, you can lose several litres of fluid within a short space of time.

“Three to five litres within one hour is quite possible.”

However, it is not just players who swelter during matches.

RB Leipzig, who host Swedish team BK Hacken on Thursday, will sell fans bottles of water at a reduced rate of a euro ($1.17) for their Europa League, second qualifying round, first-leg, which kicks off at 1830 (1630 GMT).


Neymar ‘Entitled To Feel Upset’, Says Fagner

Brazil’s forward Neymar takes part in a training session at the Yug Sports Stadium, in Sochi, on June 24, 2018, during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament. Nelson Almeida / AFP


Neymar received the support of his Brazil teammate Fagner on Sunday after his tears at the end of their World Cup win over Costa Rica and subsequent criticism at home.

The world’s most expensive player scored the second goal in the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg on Friday that edged Tite’s side closer to qualifying for the last 16.

“Not everybody knows what I went through to get here,” Neymar said in an Instagram post after the match. “My tears were of happiness, overcoming, because of my determination and will to win.

“In my life things have never been easy, so why would they be now?”

But he has come in for criticism for his behaviour during the game at what he perceived to be rough treatment from the opposition, as well for breaking down in tears at full-time.

“Every player is a human being so has feelings and is entitled to feel upset,” said Fagner at the Brazil team’s training base in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“I believe the whole squad is with him and will support him. He is experienced and will come through this to keep giving his best for the national team.”

Neymar has huge pressure on his shoulders to deliver despite only returning from injury in the run-up to the World Cup.

The 26-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward had surgery on a foot fracture at the start of March and did not play again until Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Croatia three weeks ago, when he came off the bench to score.

“I can imagine what Neymar has gone through. I wasn’t sure I would be able to be here,” said Fagner, the Corinthians right-back who was named in the squad after Daniel Alves was forced to miss out due to a knee injury.

He had been an injury concern himself but recovered and played against Costa Rica after Danilo was ruled out.

“People react in different ways,” Fagner said of Neymar.

“His was to have an outpouring of emotion. I was very emotional and happy to be able to play for 90 minutes without any problems because 54 days ago I was at risk of not making it due to injury.

“We all know what we have had to go through to be here. I think he was playing it all back like a film in his mind, at scoring a goal and taking part in another World Cup.”

Fagner will hope to keep his place when Brazil take on Serbia in Moscow on Wednesday, needing just a point to secure a place in the last 16 from Group E and a win to be sure of finishing top.

However, Douglas Costa will miss the game, having suffered a thigh injury after coming off the bench against Costa Rica.