Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Perasol on Murrell’s late dunk vs NU: He needs to respect the game, opponents Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Vito was the first to hit with 1:35 left then, Desiderio followed it up a few seconds later, right after a Troy Rike bucket, to give UP a stable 80-71 lead with 37.1 seconds left in the game.Desiderio finished with 12 points, eight coming in the fourth quarter, while Vito scored seven of his 10 in the final frame as they helped UP get to the fourth seed with a 6-6 card.“For me it’s about leadership, we’ve been doing this for five years and we have the responsibility of leading the team,” said Vito.Desiderio and Vito were there when UP was a perennial bottom placer until it gradually became a legitimate Final Four contender in Season 80 when it fell just a win short of making the semifinals with a 6-8 record trailing fourth-placer Far Eastern University.Vito said the Maroons will do whatever it takes to lead the Fighting Maroons to their first Final Four appearance since 1997.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “Before we end our UAAP careers we want to reach the Final Four and we will give our best in this final two games of the season, we want to make it count,” said Vito. ANTIPOLO—When University of the Philippines needed someone to prevent National University from making a late-game run, two of its seniors heeded the call.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gelo Vito and Paul Desiderio were instrumental in the Fighting Maroons’ 82-71 win over the Bulldogs in the second round of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament and the fifth-year duo made the most damage in the payoff period.UP was firmly ahead for much of the game, leading, 60-49, heading into the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs suddenly showed their bark.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissNU rookie Dave Ildefonso made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut UP’s lead to seven, 76-69, with less than two minutes remaining but that just prompted Vito and Desiderio to save the day for the Fighting Maroons.“I was just thinking that I want a good ending because as long as there’s a chance for the Final Four we’ll put everything to it,” said Desiderio in Filipino. “That’s our motivation.” Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES View comments
LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Jeron Teng squeezes in a left-handed reverse off KG Canaleta. —AUGUST DELA CRUZAt four wins and having played nine games, the playoffs are hardly guaranteed for Alex Compton and the Alaska Aces.You wouldn’t guess so by the way he relished Wednesday night’s 92-77 victory over Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Frustrated cager is discus champ NORTHPORT 90—Anthony 22, Tautuaa 19, Pringle 15, Grey 14, Lanete 8, Guinto 4, Elorde 3, Bolick 3, Taha 2, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.Quarters: 33-25, 53-59, 76-82, 103-90. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying “Huge win for us, honestly,” Compton said.“Kung natalo kami kanina, naka ano … Boracay tayong lahat?” he added, alluding to the vacation spot that is a euphemism for getting eliminated from the playoff race.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHistorically, chief league statistician Fidel Mangonon III said it takes seven losses with the current tournament format to hit the road. That’s the defeat total the Aces pinned on the Bolts Wednesday night after a hot start that cushioned a shaky middle and gave way to a flourishing finish.In the second game, Magnolia also gave its playoff hopes a big boost with a 103-90 victory over NorthPort to tie Alaska at 4-5. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ The Hotshots turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, limiting the Batang Pier to just 31 points after surrendering 59 in the first two quarters of the match.While Alaska staved off being pushed to the edge of elimination, Compton knows that he may need to go two-for-two in his last two games to book a slot to the next round. That’s why he kept himself to celebrating the minor victories—in a tournament that has been particularly testy for the storied franchise.Like delisting two more players from the injury ranks.“Obviously for me and the whole team, it’s nice to have [JVee Casio] and [Kevin Racal] back,” Compton said. “They are obviously a little rusty and out of shape but I thought JVee came in and made some plays and K-Racs made some plays in the way he usually does—knocking down some open shots and being a really good defender.”Jeron Teng (16 points, seven rebounds, 7-of-7 from the stripe) fueled Alaska’s fast start as the Aces roared to a 13-3 lead early.ADVERTISEMENT “I’m just really happy to get the win,” Compton said. .”The feeling was fleeting though, as Compton was reminded of the team’s next assignment: defending champion San Miguel Beer on March 24.“That’s the team you could play great against and still not win,” Compton said, jokingly chiding a reporter for bringing up his next game. “Like, you can be great and still not beat San Miguel. That’s how good they are.”The scores:First GameALASKA 92—Teng 16, Enciso 14, Banchero 13, Thoss 13, Casio 12, Racal 9, Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 0, Ayaay 0.MERALCO 77—Salva 23, Canaleta 18, Newsome 11, Amer 8, Quinto 5, Tolomia 4, Hodge 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 2, Jackson 1, Caram 0, Faundo 0.Quarters: 20-16, 45-38, 69-57, 92-77.Second GameMAGNOLIA 103—Lee 24, Sangalang 20, Brondial 14, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Melton 11, Dela Rosa 5, Reavis 5, Herndon 2, Pascual 0. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments
Former Oklahoma City Thunder player Nick Collison speaks during a ceremony to retire his number, before an NBA basketball game between the Thunder and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Rob Ferguson)OKLAHOMA CITY — Nick Collison’s No. 4 jersey was retired by the Oklahoma City Thunder during a ceremony before their game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.It’s the first number the Thunder have retired since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Seattle SuperSonics drafted Collison out of Kansas in 2003 and he spent his entire 15-year career with the club.ADVERTISEMENT TJ Dillashaw gives up UFC 135-pound title because of drug test Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title “I used to play with Nick,” Ibaka said. “He was one of the guys who really helped me in my first year in the league, when I was 19. Playing tonight, the same day they’re going to retire his jersey, it’s really special.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Collison averaged only 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Seattle/Oklahoma City, but played a key role in developing the team’s Oklahoma City culture and became known as “Mr. Thunder.”Mayor David Holt declared Wednesday to be “Nick Collison Day” in Oklahoma City.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“I could never have expected something like this,” Collison said. “But it’s really a special night for me and my family. It’s been a long run. To be able to have the career I had here and then have a celebration like that, I feel very fortunate. That kind of goes without saying, but it’s amazing for me. It’s a good feeling coming back. I don’t know how to feel for something like this. It’s like nothing can prepare you for it.”Among his former Thunder teammates who attended the ceremony were Kevin Durant of Golden State and Serge Ibaka of the Raptors. Neither were mentioned during Collison’s pregame speech, but current Thunder star Russell Westbrook was. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?
On Monday, January 20 Justice Minister and Attorney General, Cllr. Christiana P. Tah, held a closed-door discussion with the Full Bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia, a source in the Chief Justice office told the Observer.Cllr. Tah was accompanied to the meeting by her legal team, which included Cllr. Varney Sherman, the national chairman of the ruling Unity Party and Cllr. Frederick Cherue, Senior Senator of River Gee County.The outcome of the one-hour meeting between the Justices and the Minister was not disclosed.However, our source the meeting was intended to discuss Cllr. Tah’s petition (appeal) for re-argument against her six-month suspension by the Full Bench.A similar meeting, according to our source, was cancelled last Friday, because of the absence of some of the Justices.Our source, who is also a legal expert explained that a “Petition for Re-argument” can only be considered if one of the Justices was to approve of it.Interestingly, the meeting comes at the close of the October 2013 Term of Court.Cllr. Tah was suspended on Friday, January 10, from practicing law within Liberia for six (6) months by the Supreme Court.The action followed after she was held in contempt for disrespecting the High Court, by allowing FrontPage Africa’s managing editor, Rodney D. Sieh, ‘Compassionate Leave’ from prison to seek medical attention as prayed for by Mr. Sieh’s attorney, Cllr. Beyan D. Howard.Cllr. Howard was also declared barred, for three months, from practicing law.It can be recalled that a former Justice Minister during the late President Samuel K. Doe’s regime, the late Cllr. Jenkins Scott, was held in contempt by the Supreme Court.Cllr. Scott was later suspended for two (2) years from practicing law in the Court.That decision was quickly reversed by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court, after his petition for re-argument was accepted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Following days of debates calling on the National Task Force on Ebola to report on how US$5 million which that body approved for use in the fight to contain Ebola, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who chairs the task force, Thursday, September 25, presented to the Senate an expenditure report covering the month of August.The President’s communication came hours after the Senate plenary had voted unanimously requesting the Ebola Task Force to make report to that body on how the amount of US$5 million approved for the fight of Ebola was expended.According to the communication dated September 22, 2014, addressed to the President, Pro Tempore of the Senate Gbehzohngar Findley, President Sirleaf said the report is the first covering up to date deposits and disbursement through the Ebola Trust Fund.Her communication also submitted a three-month budget covering August-October, which she said was received from several implementing agencies with responsibility for the national response to the anti-Ebola fight.President Sirleaf firstly spelled out in her letter that during the three months, the implementing agencies’ budget as requested, will be US$34,820.98.According to individual implementing agency budget for the three months, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare submitted a budget of US$29,283.57 which will be used for health related inventions; Ministry of National Defense, for its lead on national security and support to quarantine will receive US$1,057.08; the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization gets US$432. 20 for enforcement of border control; Liberia National Police budget for enforcing rule of law and support quarantine is US$1,721.78; the Ministry of State will receive US$320.000 for community water kiosks/outreach; Ministry of Internal Affairs gets US$1,114.21 for lead on burial/cremation and community engagement; for communication dissemination, Ministry of Information receives US$550,000; the Program Management (Command Center), and the Ministry of Gender and Development are budgeted for US$300,000, and US$33,014 respectively.After a month of implementation, President Sirleaf informed the lawmakers that approximately US$4.7 million was disbursed to the various implementing agencies against their budgets submitted, leaving an undisbursed balance of approximately US$1,069,094.91.The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare received US$2,882,000.96; Ministry of Defense US$352,000.36; BIN received US$357,000.45; LNP US$346,000.32; Ministry of State received US$130,000; Ministry of Internal Affairs US$484,000.98; Ministry of Information received US$17,000.50, while the Program Management Command Center received US$100,000 the Ministry of Gender is yet to receive allotment, bringing the total expenditure to US$4,668,003.57.In her letter, President Sirleaf displayed a requested expenditure for September 2014, which she said is subject to evaluation, at US$5 million with the same implementing agencies as beneficiaries.The National Task Force leader informed the Senate that towards meeting the needs of the implementing agencies, a total of US$5,737,098.48 consisting of US$5,624,250 and L$9,400,000 was paid into the Ebola Trust Fund as donations from the government (US$5M), individuals and organizations.Among the highest donors to the Ebola Fund, according to President Sirleaf’s communication, are the Central Bank of Liberia, US$100,000; National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), US$150,000; CGC (Chinese Company), US$100,000; Tony Elumelu, US$100,000; LPRC, US$75,000; and CEMENCO, US$25,000, among several individuals and organizations.From the three months budget submitted by implementing agencies, President Sirleaf said the emergency request of US$20 million based on an initial assessment by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is inadequate to the fund response efforts.“We must therefore intensify our resource mobilization efforts both locally and internationally to secure funding for national response. Towards this end, we have begun engagement with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund…A more comprehensive report which captures the totality of support will be prepared.”President Sirleaf pointed out that with regards to accountability, the entities to which disbursement have been made are responsible to ensure that funds are used for the purpose detailed in their strategies and budgets. “They are to observe financial rules as much as possible without prejudice to the need for flexibility in procurement rule due to the urgency involved.”Additionally, she said a staff of the Internal Audit Agency works with the Finance Team, and the General Auditing Commission has provided input to facilitate post transaction audits.Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Senate was requested to make copies of four-page communication and distribute them among the various Senators for deliberation on Tuesday ensuing. 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A surprising story has emerged regarding the true identity of the father of a 10 year-old Liberian boy, Barway Collins, whose body was found April 11 in the Mississippi River in Brooklyn Center in the United States. Barway’s father, Pierre Collins of Crystal, Minnesota, has ever since been considered the prime suspect in the murder of his son as a result of tangible evidence in the possession of Minnesota State security authorities. He is charged with second-degree murder, according to information reaching the Daily Observer. He is currently behind bars awaiting trial for his son’s murder, though he told police prior to his arrest “If they have enough, (evidence) they should come and get me.” But in what may be considered another twist to the entire episode, the biological mother of Barway Collins has made a revelation about the true identity of the man she considered her deceased child’s father. The boy’s mother, Ms. Louise Karluah, who spoke to the popular Liberian Top Talk-Show host, Mamadee Diakite, painted a terrible picture of her encounter with Pierre Collins when she was only 15 and a student in a refugee camp. Ms. Karluah told Diakite, “I was fifteen years old in Ghana in the eighth grade. He was our French teacher. He called me inside for an assignment and started to pet me and raped me. That’s how I got pregnant with Edwin (Barway’s real name). Ms. Karluah said after she got pregnant, Pierre asked her to abort the pregnancy. Because of her refusal to do as he demanded, she said, “He disowned the pregnancy. He was very wicked to me.” “My son was precious; he was my hope and he was a smart boy who promised to do things for me. He used to send me money. If (Pierre) Collins stands before me today, I will kill him – he is a very wicked man,” she told Diakite. She also revealed that she sent her son to the United States and did not speak with him on the phone until 2013. During their conversations, Ms. Karluah said, Barway told her he was physically punished and she counseled him to “be obedient.” She also disclosed that Collins informed her when Barway went missing.According to reports from Crystal, Minnesota, funeral arrangements for young Barway will be held on Saturday at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis, the family spokesman, Pastor Harding Smith, said Tuesday. Barway’s body, according to Pastor Smith, was released by the medical examiner to Estes Funeral Chapel in Minneapolis and that the father has relinquished all funeral and burial arrangements to him. It is anticipated that Barway’s biological mother will attend the funeral, as efforts are underway to ensure that she gets there on time. “I have tried to wait until Barway’s mother gets here,” Star Tribune quotes Smith as saying. “I think it is very important for a mother to be here to bury her son.” Barway went to the United States from Liberia when he was 5 to join his father, who had arrived there a few years earlier. Several members of the Liberian immigrant community also want Barway’s biological mother to be at the funeral. Meanwhile, Pierre Collins, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the boy’s death, remains in the Hennepin County jail with bail set at US$2million. Barway, whose body was discovered bound with duct tape, had been missing since March 18.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,The contemptuous sentiments expressed by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, against the people of this nation would have been shocking and disappointing had we higher expectations from this Government.As expected from our brand of “us vs them” politicians, more than half of Mr Bulkan’s interview with a section of the media centred on idiotically attacking the PPP/C, and nothing that he said there is worth engaging, unless one is an idiot too.What cannot be condoned, however, is the contemptuous attack on us, the people of this country. Apparently according to the dear Minister, the people of this country don’t know what Local Government is all about. The minister claims “it will take time for persons to fully grasp the benefits.”Sections of the media quoted the minister’s arrogance and big talk as follows: “We are empowering people ultimately for their own benefit. The PPP will either conform or step aside.”So, in the Minister’s mind, it seems clear that the Local Government Elections are a battle between the two major political parties currently in the National Assembly; Local Government Elections are just like National Elections. So who is it that needs the education on what Local Government is all about, and time to fully grasp the concept: the people of this country, or Minister Bulkan and cohorts?The system for Local Government in Guyana is heavily structured in favour of political parties. This is a system of Local Government that is supported by both major political parties in this nation. President Granger, when questioned about the heavy participation of his party in Local Government Elections, expressed a view that was biased against the participation of individual candidates in Local Government Elections.With politicians who are invested in consolidating political power, controlling the activities of NDCs, and directing the future activities of our communities; and who believe in state control, we cannot expect any other sentiment more in alignment with freedom and the spirit of democracy.The governance architecture that we have in Guyana is a set of self-interested politicians operating at the Central Government level. Politicians at the Central Government level infiltrate the Guyana Public Service directly, and also through the recruitment of partisan staff. We have seen in this country Permanent Secretaries – the backbone of stable Government across political transitions — who are directly affiliated with political parties. We have Mr Mortimer Mingo, holder of an “Independent” position — Chairman of the Local Government Commission – being also a PNCR Executive.What is it about our country and the political culture of the political parties that allow these kinds of corruption to thrive? What happened to ethics, and how can it be institutionalised?Contrast the behaviour and ethics of Elisabeth Harper, who resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to venturing into a career in politics.The Laws of Guyana support a Local Government System that has pushed out all the capable, independent and civic-minded citizens to the fringes of Local Government, so what we have is complete political domination, with a corresponding path for the free flow of corruption from Central Government to Local Government, and a corresponding lack of diversity of perspectives within our politics; with the creative, independent-minded professionals and individuals on the sidelines of society while the corrupt and the partisan take centre stage in the administration of the nation. This model allows for too much corruption and too much political control. We need freedom from this oppression.If we wish to have a truly democratic nation, and a knowledge-based society free of the weight of oppressive politics, we need to identify those structural elements that are blocking the sunshine. This is not a job that calls for political consensus in a model of the cat guarding the milk. With oil and gas at our heels, this is an urgent job that requires national consensus and the coming together of all those disenfranchised on the fringes of society. We cannot have an oil and gas economy that sits on top of a dense and Third World Government; for if we do, we will have a Third World outcome.The people of this country need Government beside us, not on top of us. We are not a monarchy. We are not only an Independent nation, but we are also a Republic. And while the political class, in their mad rush for Local Government Elections to control Amerindian lands and dominate our future, have forgotten the true meaning of a Republic and the role of the people, we, the people, are very much aware of our role.All over this country: from Region 1 to Bartica to Lethem to Corentyne, Guyanese are desirous of changing our politics. We may, at present, be amorphous, but we are everywhere.It might take Mr. Bulkan some time to fully grasp what all this means. Let him save his breath, for we know that the rush to Local Government Elections has nothing to do with benefiting the people, and everything to do with consolidation of political power in pursuit of their own personal agenda.Sincerely,Sandra Khan
Dear Editor,The recent chaotic Nominations Day developments, and many other muddled preparatory activities at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), give testimony to the conundrum which, to a large extent, is self-inflicting, or perhaps deliberate.It is very clear that many of the problems are strongly related to the partisan employment approaches, and perhaps deficient staff training practices. The selection and appointment of misfits to perform key roles seem to be strongly driven by the particular category of persons being paid, rather than having a structured and evaluated approach to meet the acceptable level of requirements.Too many critical activities of GECOM are now being handled as if they were a first-trial run with a comedy of errors. The result is an organisation working like a cork in the ocean; uncharted in responding to the tidal influences and pressure as it floats along, with no convincing purpose of balance in undertaking the serious task of holding free and fair Local Government Elections in November.One such ongoing activity is being supervised by Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers, who seems not to have a clue about what is required regarding the preparation for the enveloping of ballots for members of the Disciplined Services (Army, Police and Prison) who are scheduled to vote on D-Day, November 2, 2018.The Chairman’s choice of Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers, had no answer, as she ‘flipped’ on Nominations Day. This was in relation to key decisions and directions when called upon by Returning Officers and several persons in the absence of the forever disappearing CEO, Keith Lowenfield.Even the cursory observer could note that Ms Myers’s recent swearing in was after the Nominations Day activity, in which it seemed that she was delegated pivotal responsibilities. In such a circumstance, the situation speaks to the false level of readiness of GECOM, conveyed by Chairman Patterson. It also establishes that while the CEO was absent, there was also no substantive DCEO on the day of one of the most critical elections events being administered by GECOM.The activity in preparation for D-Day on November 2, 2018 was being witnessed by scrutineers from political parties in response to invitations and in keeping with the procedures. Along with fellow People’s Progressive Party Member of Parliament Dharamkumar Seeraj, we turned up at GECOM Office on Monday, 23rd October, 2018 at 13:30h to scrutinise the preparations for the Disciplined Services’ voting. From the very beginning, we could tell that our sojourn at this activity would be lengthy and uncomfortable. The sequence of events which followed highlighted an amazing level of lack of coordination, and confirmed that we were in for a very long haul.It was immediately observed that we were the only two persons present to observe the process, and the ‘skids’ were not packed in any specific order. It soon became clear that there was no packing list for the containing skids, and our requests for the expected work schedule was futile. We were told that they will open all the ‘skids’, and we must make note of the ‘seal numbers’.It took some level of persisting queries before Myers told us that after the ‘skids’ are opened, the ‘Ballot’ papers for the Discipline Services voters on D-Day will be extracted and enveloped. It was quite amazing that we requested the list of the required ‘ballot’ papers as per constituency and the DCEO did not know what we were asking for. Fortunately, Personal Assistant to the Chief Elections Officer, Duarte Hetsberger, was present to provide advice, and we were subsequently provided with the list after some time spent waiting.We then proceeded to the container to facilitate the opening of the ‘skids’, after being advised that the Internal Auditor would be calling out the specifics of each ‘skid’. As we approached the container, it was observed that there was no light to facilitate the work in the 40-foot container. Worse yet, the unfriendly DCEO refused to allow the scrutineers to enter the container as part of the verification process. There was total confusion, as we started with ‘skid’ 2 and then we went on to ‘skid’ 3, then ‘skid’ 9. We were then told that we were opening ‘skid’ 11, which had ‘tender’ ballots.The haphazard checking of the ‘skids’ continued until there was a long break, as the staff struggled without any acceptable lighting in the container. There was total chaos of taunting and laughing at this incompetent preparation for such a simple and straightforward activity.Sincerely,Neil Kumar
Financial analyst Ramon Gaskin is of the firm belief that Chairman of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Dr Maurice Odle should be taken to the courts to reveal what really happened with the US million GTT shares.Since he is “playing games,” Gaskin said, a member of the public or the Opposition should go to the court and get a court order against NICIL or Odle instructing that the report on the shares be released for public scrutiny.He stated that those responsible for disclosing the elements of the reports continue to shirk their responsibility without anyone holding them accountable while adding that the members of the board are using the bureaucracy of the system to shy away from what they really do not want to say.NICIL Chairman, Dr Maurice OdleFinancial analyst Ramon Gaskin“They don’t want to say that they don’t want to reveal the report. Let me tell you, Odle doesn’t need the board to reveal critical information. He is playing the game of who could reveal and who can’t reveal but the whole nation know that Odle could reveal it if he wants,” he charged.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has also questioned why the report has not yet been made public since “it is clear as day that NICIL can release the findings.”“I don’t understand why they don’t release the information,” he said, urging them to make the disclosure quickly.However, when this newspaper contacted NICIL for an update on a letter sent to the unit for clarification on the transaction, an official stated that the letter should be in the hands of Chairman Dr Maurice Odle, who would furnish a response.When asked whether Odle is the person to respond on the issue, the official said yes. But, Odle had told Guyana Times that he is not the person to answer the questions—instead it was the board’s duty. Notably, Odle is head of that board.Critics are stating that the transaction shows that there is little to no accountability or transparency in the APNU/AFC administration. There have also been calls for similar matters to be brought before the House for scrutiny.Gaskin stated that despite the Government’s promise to be transparent, the case of the missing GTT shares along with several contracts have not been laid in the public domain, shows otherwise.“There are a number of contracts that we want to see. Let us read it for ourselves. We have eyes and we can read English, we don’t need them to tell us what it says. Show us,” Gaskin asserted.Government spokesperson Raphael Trotman had disclosed that Minister of State Joseph Harmon was able to recover documents, which revealed that the monies were paid.However, NICIL quickly slapped it down, stating that Guyana’s former Ambassador to China David Dabydeen had facilitated the US$5 million debt waiver with Datang, the Chinese company, on the grounds that it was not granted the same minority protection rights enjoyed by NICIL (that is, two, instead of one, representatives on the GT&T Board of Directors).NICIL had sold the Government shares in GT&T for US$30 million of which US$25 million was received at the signing of the agreement. However, the outstanding money, which should have been paid by the end of December 2015, has not been discovered.
As the nation witnesses the removal and reshuffling of several high profile government officials, some Liberians, particularly employees of the Justice Ministry, have expressed fear for their safety wondering when the Ministry’s new leadership will be announced,. Expressing their misgivings, they want to remind President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the four top empty seats in the Justice Ministry, the government department responsible for the enforcement of law and order and the administration of justice in the country.The four top vacant positions at the Ministry include the Minister, the Deputy Minister for Administration, the Deputy Minister for Qualification and the Assistant Minister for Correction.According to our investigation, the Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, Cllr. Benedict Sarnor, is relatively acting in all the positions and running the Ministry in consultation with the Solicitor General, Cllr. Betty Lamin-Blamo.Some Liberians yesterday told the Daily Observer that the vacancies at the top echelons of the Ministry, if not filled soon, have the propensity to tilt the statutory mandate of that government department. These concerned citizens are keenly aware that effectual leadership at the helm is required for the Justice Ministry to carry out its chief responsibilities to enforce the law, defend the interests of the country, ensure public safety against foreign and domestic threats and provide unitary leadership in preventing and controlling crime and punishing those guilty of unlawful behavior.Madam Musuly Morrison and Mr. Jenkins Nah said separately that the absence of the Attorney General and other key officials at the Justice Ministry would undercut the rule of law, jeopardize the maintenance of peace and security, sustainable development, and the protection of human rights.However, the spokesperson of the Concerned Workers of the Justice Ministry, who is known only as ‘Scarface’, indicated that the prolonged vacancies of the top seats at the Ministry would not only slow down the access to justice but also delay the process of fair play and justice in the country.It may be recalled that former Justice Minister Christian Tah resigned a month ago. Earlier, Cllr. Whetonia Dixon-Barnes and Madam Victoria Leigh-Sherman were relieved of their posts as Deputy Ministers for Administration and Qualification, respectively, as well as Assistant Minister for Correction, Hilary Sackor.Justice Minister Tah, in her resignation letter, said she could not be the Minister of Justice and not supervise the operations of the security agencies under her Ministry.The letter cited her lack of independence to investigate allegations of fraud against the National Security Agency, which is headed by Mr. Fumba Sirleaf, son of the President.Minister Tah also said it had become “unbearable” to continue as Minister amid “determination to systemically undermine and gut the portfolio of relevance and effectiveness.”In a brief statement issued later, the Executive Mansion said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had “received and accepted the resignation” of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. There is no hint of who the President might be considering to fill these top positions at the Ministry of Justice.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)