Sunday, April 20, 2014
Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Del.icoi.us Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo


ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Items filtered by date: February 2012
 
DA Article Expo Module
 
AllAfrica News: Latest
All Africa, All the Time.
  • South Sudan: Attack on UN Base a Possible War Crime
    [Deutsche Welle]The UN Security Council has said an attack on one of its bases in South Sudan may "constitute a war crime." It called on the country's government to do more to prevent future attacks.
  • South Sudan: Dozens Die in Cattle Raid
    [Sudan Tribune]Juba -At least 20 people were killed and dozens injured when suspected cattle raiders attacked a village in South Sudan's Warrap state on Thursday, an official said.
  • Ghana: Ghana's Oil Quagmire
    [Ghanaian Chronicle]As Ghana strives harder to escape the quagmire of oil curse which is the vile menace of oil and gas producing countries in third world countries across the globe, there are already looming signals that Ghana is virtually losing its gravity and battles to the foreign partners in her oil and gas industry.

On February 22, 2012, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2011 Article IV consultation with Nigeria. Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 12/20 February 28, 2012

 

Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country's economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities.

 

Public Information Notices (PINs) form part of the IMF's efforts to promote transparency of the IMF's views and analysis of economic developments and policies. With the consent of the country (or countries) concerned, PINs are issued after Executive Board discussions of Article IV consultations with member countries, of its surveillance of developments at the regional level, of post-program monitoring, and of ex post assessments of member countries with longer-term program engagements. PINs are also issued after Executive Board discussions of general policy matters, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board in a particular case.

 

Background

 

Economic growth remains strong in Nigeria, with non-oil real gross domestic product (GDP) estimated to have grown at 8.3 percent in 2011 and overall real GDP at about 6.7 percent. Inflation slightly declined to 10.3 percent in December 2011 (year-on-year) from 11.7 percent a year earlier, in response to monetary tightening by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and moderation of food prices.

 

A modest fiscal consolidation took place in 2011. The non-oil primary deficit (NOPD) of the consolidated government is estimated to have narrowed slightly from about 34.6 percent of non-oil GDP in 2010 to 32.9 percent in 2011, mainly due to expenditure restraint at the federal government level. Higher oil prices helped shrink the overall fiscal deficit from 7.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to about 0.2 percent of GDP in 2011. Monetary policy was tightened substantially in 2011 in response to high inflation and strong foreign exchange demand. The central bank has gradually increased its overnight deposit rate by 900 basis points since September 2010 and tightened regulatory requirements. In November, it adjusted downward its soft band around the naira-US dollar exchange rate, and depreciation pressures on the naira have since abated. Financial soundness indicators point to continued improvements in the health of the banking system.

 

Growth is projected to remain robust in 2012 and inflation is projected to increase temporarily as a result of the increase in gasoline prices. The main downside risks to the short-term outlook are a further deterioration in the global environment and an exacerbation of current violence in northern Nigeria.

 

Executive Board Assessment

 

Executive Directors commended the authorities for countercyclical policies that have supported economic activity in challenging circumstances. Directors considered that the medium-term growth outlook remains favorable, although subject to external downside risks. Accordingly, they emphasized the continued need for policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, diversify the economy, and make growth more inclusive.

 

Directors supported the authorities’ strategy to rebuild fiscal buffers through a better prioritization of public expenditure, continued subsidy reform, and improved tax administration. Efforts in these areas will also provide the necessary resources for targeted social programs and needed infrastructure. Directors endorsed the use of conservative oil price assumptions in the preparation of the budget but noted that only a comprehensive tax reform will reduce the budget’s dependence on oil revenues over the medium term.

 

Directors highlighted the importance of improving public financial management, including a stronger framework for managing Nigeria’s oil wealth. They welcomed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and underscored that a rules-based approach to setting the budget reference oil price would strengthen the budgetary process and the operations of the SWF. In this regard, Directors recommended that outlays from the SWF’s infrastructure fund be integrated into the budget and medium-term expenditure plans.

 

Directors noted the monetary authorities’ commitment to further reduce inflation but considered that a pause in the tightening cycle is at present warranted. More broadly, they agreed that a monetary framework better focused on a clear inflation objective should help anchor inflation expectations and support disinflation. Greater exchange rate flexibility will also facilitate the pursuit of price stability.

 

Directors commended the authorities for their actions to resolve the recent banking crisis. The modalities of operation of the asset management corporation should continue to make sure that fiscal risks and moral hazard are minimized. Directors supported the central bank’s focus on strengthening supervision and the regulatory framework, including by addressing remaining deficiencies in the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime. They also agreed that a Financial Sector Assessment Program update will help take stock of the progress so far and provide a road map for remaining reforms in the financial sector.

 

Directors concurred that wide-ranging reforms are needed to make growth more inclusive. They welcomed the authorities’ initiatives to improve the business climate and reform sectors with high employment potential, particularly agriculture. Directors encouraged the authorities to persevere with planned reforms in the energy sector under appropriate social safeguards.

Chief James Ibori, former governor of Delta state and the  looting of Delta State

"Nigerian state governor funded international playboy lifestyle with £50million fraud as he rose from humble roots working in London DIY store

James Ibori bought a portfolio of luxury London homes and a fleet of armoured Range Rovers

Fraudster may have stolen $250million from Nigerian coffers as he rose through the ranks

He spent £15,000 in two-day stay at London's The lanesborough hotel

He owned SEVEN properties in Britain

Ibori, 49, siphoned off millions by inflating state contracts"     - Daily Mail UK

Luxury: Property in Hampstead bought by Ibori for £2.2million in cash in 2001Luxury: Exclusive home that Ibori bought in Hampstead, north London, with £2.2million in cash in 2001


Extravagant: Ibori, 49, owned an apartment in this block on Abbey Road, London, opposite the famous music studiosExtravagant: Ibori, 49, owned an apartment in this block on Abbey Road, London, opposite the famous music studios

 

Fleet of cars: The former Nigerian state governor owned a number of cars including this Bentley Continental worth in the region of £150,000Fleet of cars: The former Nigerian state governor owned a number of cars including this Bentley Continental worth in the region of £150,000

 

Extraordinary extravagance: James Ibori owned a fleet of armoured Range Rovers - including this one - bought with the proceeds of his £50million fraudExtraordinary extravagance: James Ibori owned a fleet of armoured Range Rovers - including this one - bought with the proceeds of his £50million fraud

 

Large home: James Ibori's home in Abuja, Nigeria. Today he was facing a jail sentence after admitting a £50million fraudLarge home: James Ibori's home in Abuja, Nigeria. Today he was facing a jail sentence after admitting a £50million fraud

Fraudsters: Solicitor Bhadresh Gohil and James Ibori's wife Theresa who have already been convicted of money laundering

Fraudsters: Solicitor Bhadresh Gohil and James Ibori's wife Theresa who have already been convicted of money laundering

 

Guilty: Ibori's sister Christine Ibori-Idie and his mistress Udoamaka Okoronkwo who have both being found guilty of money launderingGuilty: Ibori's sister Christine Ibori-Idie and his mistress Udoamaka Okoronkwo who have both being found guilty of money laundering

Property: Kenton, north-west LondonLuxury home in Kenton, north-west London

 

One of Christine Ibori-Ibie's London propertiesOne of Udoamaka Onuigbo's London propertiesHomes: An apartment owned by Ibori's sister Christine Ibori-Ibie in Brent, north-west London (left) and a London property (right) owned by his mistress Udoamaka Onuigbo

 

Sources: Daily Mail, PA

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:18

Ojukwu - Tribute From Chinweizu

Powerful Tribute

IN this world, most people are not famous at all. Some people's fame is ephemeral, some are famous for 5 minutes and are hardly remembered again. Most persons are not remembered at all a year after their corpse is interred. Remembrance becomes enduring only when one's life's work has relevance for many future generations.

Why do we mourn Ojukwu's death? Why should we keep fresh our memory of him? Let us tell the world, as well as remind ourselves, of the man, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and of his struggles on our behalf, and let us note some of the brave services he rendered us in a period of more than 60 years; selfless services for which we are indebted to him and should hold him in highest esteem.

Ojukwu lived a life filled with such deeds as legends are made of. Here are some: Consider the case of the Zulu hero, Shaka. When he was 13, Shaka attacked and killed a black Mamba snake that had killed a prize bull he was guarding. Like Shaka, Ojukwu as a boy exhibited the bravery and protectiveness that would win him fame as an adult.

Ojukwu: Anti-colonial Defender of the Racially Oppressed

In 1944, when he was 11, Ojukwu was briefly imprisoned for assaulting a white British colonial teacher who was humiliating a black woman at King's College in Lagos, an event which generated widespread coverage in local newspapers.

For a schoolboy to fight a teacher is unusual, and requires great courage. For any black person in a colonial society ruled by all-powerful whites, a society which practices racial discrimination, such behavior required extreme provocation or extreme folly. For an 11 year old black schoolboy in such a society to fight a teacher belonging to the master race required extraordinary audacity.

 

And for him to do so in defence of another black person, and not of himself, showed a precocious race consciousness and a meritorious sense of racial solidarity. Marcus Garvey would have been proud of the lad and recognized him as one destined to do great deeds for the black race. Here was a boy to watch. And, when he grew up, Ojukwu did not disappoint such expectations.

 

After this event, his father, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, a millionaire businessman and one of the richest men in Nigeria, packed him off to England to an elite boarding school. From there he proceeded to Oxford University. After earning his Master's Degree in History, he returned to colonial Nigeria in 1956 and joined the colonial administration as a District Officer. After serving a year, he made an extraordinary career move.

 

He resigned and enlisted in the Army in 1957, not as an officer cadet, but as an ordinary soldier. Nevertheless, he rose rapidly from the ranks and in 1964, became a Lieutenant Colonel, and was appointed the Quartermaster General of the Nigerian Army. All this he achieved within 7 years in a peace-time army, not in a wartime army where a high attrition rate accelerates promotions.

 

Soon thereafter political events pushed Ojukwu into political leadership when the coup of January 1966 led to his appointment as the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria. That was the platform from where he performed the great deeds that have made him famous.

 

Ojukwu: Hero of Aburi

 

Biafran leader, Lietenant Colonel C. Odumegwu Ojukwu, military governor of East Nigeria in this 1966 file photo. The first of these deeds was his brilliant performance in the negotiations at the Conference of Nigeria's military rulers that was held in Aburi, Ghana, in January1967.

 

Beginning as a minority of one in a Supreme Military Council with eight other members in attendance, he prevailed on the SMC, first to renounce the use of force to resolve the crisis that had brought them to Aburi; and, secondly, to agree on a confederation arrangement for governing the country until a new constitution could be agreed.

 

Getting his colleagues to agree to the Aburi Accord was Ojukwu's seminal contribution to Nigeria's survival and to the security and progress of the entire population of Nigeria. However, the fruits of this fundamental contribution were not to be harvested. When the signatories returned to Nigeria, Gowon and his officials in Lagos refused to implement the terms of the Accord. This deepened the crisis and eventually provoked the secession of Eastern Nigeria and its quest for self-determination as the sovereign state of Biafra.

 

Ojukwu: Founder and War Leader of Biafra

 

The next great deed that Ojukwu did was to proclaim the sovereign state of Biafra on 30 May 1967. Before the new state could find its feet, Gowon, in repudiation of yet another part of the Aburi Accord, resorted to force and sent the Nigerian army to invade Biafra to bring it back into Nigeria. When the Nigeria-Biafra War began in July 1967, Ojukwu became Biafra's war leader.

 

He led Biafra in a just war of self defence, a war of resistance to Nigeria's aggression, a war to defend the Biafran People's right to self-determination and to protect their very lives. With no resources to speak of, Ojukwu still managed to organize the Biafran people and the Biafran Army to resist the Nigerian invaders for 30 harrowing months until Biafra fell and surrendered in January 1970.

 

In those 30 months, Ojukwu did two other great deeds. To sustain the struggle, he mobilized the scientific manpower of Biafra into the Science and Technology Group (S&T Group) that achieved great things. Secondly he produced a Blueprint for a just Biafran society.

 

Ojukwu the war leader of Biafra:

 

Finding itself blockaded by land, sea and air, Biafra had to be self-reliant to survive. Its Science and Technology Group (S&T Group) rose to the challenge and, among other things, conceived and produced a type of air defence dust mine for use against MIG jet fighters. In October 1967, when Biafran troops at the Ugwuoba Bridge, near Awka. fired it horizontally on advancing Nigerian troops, its devastating effect earned it the name Ogbunigwe (mass killer).

 

On March 31, 1968, a Biafran army unit ambushed and, using Ogbunigwe, destroyed a 96-vehicle column of Nigerian soldiers. The humiliating Abagana defeat to Nigerian soldiers prompted General Yakubu Gowon to remove Col. Murtala Mohammed as the General Commanding Officer of the Onitsha sector.

 

In addition, Biafran engineers built airports and roads; designed and built petroleum refineries; designed and built light and heavy equipment. Biafra's Research and Production (RAP) unit did research on chemical weapons as well as rocket guidance systems. It invented new forms of explosives, and tried new forms of food processing technology.

 

The Biafra coastline was lined with home-made shore batteries and with remote controlled weapons systems and bombs. Under Ojukwu's leadership, and in less than three years, a Biafra that was being starved by blockade, achieved a great leap forward in black African science and technology. [see Wikipedia article on Ojukwu]

 

This achievement remains unique in Black Africa. In their half century of "independence" thus far, no other state in Black Africa has created any Science & Technology organization, let alone one to compare with the one created in Biafra's 31 months existence.

 

Ojukwu

 

This Biafran achievement remains an inspirational beacon for the Black World in this 21st century. It shows that if Black African states are still not industrialized today, the fault is not in us the people, not in the stars, not in our race, but in our neo-colonialist leaders and their chronic misleadership.

 

Ojukwu: Proponent of a New Social Order

 

Even in the midst of war, Ojukwu encouraged the Biafran intelligentsia to investigate and articulate their people's aspirations for their post-war society. This effort produced a document which Ojukwu presented to the nascent Biafran nation on June 1, 1969 at Ahiara village.

 

It became known as The Ahiara Declaration .The document eloquently and totally rejected the Nigerian social order for its neo-colonialist iniquities and inequities, and outlined the principles on which a radically different and just society would be constructed in Biafra. Ojukwu's Ahiara Declaration invites comparison with Nyerere's Arusha Declaration as a blueprint for a just and egalitarian Black African society.

 

Accurate picture

 

Unfortunately, despite these achievements, the proposed new society was not to be. A Biafran cartoon of the period, captioned "The Truth about the Nigeria-Biafra War", gave an accurate picture of the war situation: it showed a trio consisting of President Lyndon Johnson of the USA, Prime Minister Harold Wilson of Britain and Premier Alexei Kosygin of the USSR holding Ojukwu immobilized for Nigeria's Gowon to use as a punching bag.

 

Given that fundamental situation, it was no wonder that Biafra collapsed, after 30 months of fighting a just war. And to save him from almost certain execution by vengeful Nigerian soldiers, Ojukwu's followers packed him off to exile in Cote d'Ivoire in January 1970, in the expectation that he would live to fight for them another day.

 

Ojukwu, the war leader of a defeated Biafra, spent 12 years in exile before he was pardoned and allowed to return to Nigeria in 1982. He arrived to a tumultuous hero's welcome by his people and he plunged into Nigerian politics to champion the struggle for improvement in the hard lot of his defeated people.

 

Alleviating the condition of Ndi-Igbo within Nigeria became his mission until his death in 2011. To do that he joined the NPN, the governing party of that time, and contested for a seat in the Nigerian senate. However, after a vigorous election campaign, he was declared defeated. Undaunted, he continued to be a voice for Ndi-Igbo in Nigerian affairs despite a stint as a political detainee during the Buhari period.

 

In 1994-1995, at the Abacha Constitutional Conference in Abuja, the Ndi-Igbo contingent, led jointly by Ojukwu and a former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, introduced and persuaded the Conference to adopt the concept of six geo-political zones in which the 36 states of Nigeria are now aggregated. In 2003, Ojukwu joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and became its Presidential candidate in the 2003 and 2007 elections. This was all in a further effort to give Ndi-Igbo a suitable presence in Nigerian politics and to promote the interests of Ndi-Igbo within Nigeria.

 

Ojukwu the APGA presidential candidate.

 

Former Biafra leader Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (L) who emerged as the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)'s presidential aspirant for 2007 elections after their national convention in Enugu is pictured with Chief Victor Ume, APGA Chairman and Mrs Virgy Etiaba, Deputy Governor of Anambra State during the APGA convention held in Enugu, Nigeria, 04 December 2006. (Nwakamma/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Ojukwu and PRONACO

 

In the continuing search for a peaceful and better Nigeria, Ojukwu was among the leaders of thought who, in 2005-2006, in consultation with Chief Anthony Enahoro, initiated the Peoples' National Conference through the platform of the Pro National Conference Organizations (PRONACO) -an alliance of 164 ethnic organizations that believed that a Sovereign National Conference ( SNC) had become imperative for transforming Nigeria and ending its people's woes.

 

That People's National Conference, which was a comprehensive revalidation of the Aburi Accord by the ethnic nationalities, produced a Draft People's Constitution which has been overwhelmingly endorsed across Nigeria as a credible path to a sustainable basis for Nigeria's survival. As the conference rotated its sittings across various geo-political locations (including Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos and Kano) Ojukwu hosted that conference twice in Enugu, in February and in March 2006.


Ojukwu at home with his wife, Bianca.

 

Upon the conclusion of the conference, Ojukwu actively mobilized for the informal referendum to which the Draft People's Constitution was subjected, resulting in its endorsement by various ethnic blocs. As a part of the process for actualizing this written wish of the peoples of Nigeria, Ojukwu volunteered to be one of the plaintiffs, alongside Wole Soyinka, Anthony Enahoro and Bankole Oki, in a lawsuit before the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging the legitimacy of the 1999 constitution. This is Suit No. FHC/L/CS/558/09. It is still in court till today. The suit is to dismantle the fraudulent and military-imposed constitution of 1999 and make space for a new order.

 

All of this shows that while Ojukwu contended for a place within the Nigerian political space, by joining the NPN and running for the senate in1983, by participating in Abacha's Constitutional Conference in 1994-1995, and then by joining APGA and running twice for President on the APGA ticket, he devoted even more energy towards resolving the fundamental distortions that have brought Nigeria to the dark valley where it is languishing. That, in brief, is an outline of the life and struggles of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

 

Ojukwu: Unfinished business

 

No person dies or leaves office without leaving behind some unfinished business. Hero that he was, Ojukwu is no exception. There is the business of transforming Nigeria, a project which is being ably carried on by his younger PRONACO colleagues. While that project is for the benefit of all Nigerians, there is another unfinished business of his which concerns Ndi-Igbo exclusively. Let me now draw your attention to it.

 

Ojukwu did not finish the vital business of creating an institutional embodiment of the Ndi-Igbo nation, a paramount cultural-political institution for Ndi-Igbo, their counterpart of what the Ooni of Ife is for the Yoruba; and the Asentehene is for the Ashanti of Ghana; and the Kabaka is for the Baganda of Uganda; the Sultan of Sokoto is for Shariyaland, a.k.a. Nigeria's Far North or Arewa.

 

Or take the example of what the Dalai Lama institution is for the Tibetans, namely, a central focus of Tibetan cultural identity, a symbolic embodiment of the Tibetan national character. Such are the cultural and non-partisan institutions to which a people all give their allegiance and look to for decisive guidance in their affairs. By joining the NPN and entering partisan politics on his return from exile in 1982, Ojukwu skipped his chance to become the nucleus of a neutral institutional arbiter in the world of Ndi-Igbo.

 

However, he made a belated attempt to correct his error, but did not succeed. His Eze Igbo Gburugburu title, with its notion of monarchy, was probably in the wrong cultural idiom for Igbo republicanism to accept, and so it never gathered widespread or deep acquiescence.

 

With Ojukwu's joining of the ancestors, the task of creating this sorely needed paramount institution, and in some effective and culturally appropriate form, is now left for the next generation of Ndi-Igbo, and especially for the leadership cadres that will emerge among them. And it is for the elders of today to guide them to accomplish that vital task.


Ojukwu is physically dead, but for as long as we keep fresh our memories of his deeds, the legend lives on. Let me sum up:

 

At the age of 11, Ojukwu burst onto the scene as a defender of black people when he physically defended a black African woman from humiliation by a white colonial racist teacher.

 

Then at age 33 he became the warrior defender of all Eastern Nigerians when they came under mass murderous attack by their fellow Nigerians. Then after the collapse of Biafra he settled into the role of political warrior defending Ndi-Igbo in the neocolonial dungeon called Nigeria.

 

By the example of his deeds, the Ojukwu legend will live on wherever people, and black people especially, look for an inspiring role model of selfless defence of the humiliated and oppressed; or for a model of when an injured and defenceless people must say "enough is enough" and embark on a struggle for self determination; or for model leadership for scientific and technological advancement; or for a model of how to obtain a Blueprint for a just and equitable social order.

 

Ojukwu: The People's Assessment.

 

Let me end this assessment of Ojukwu's life by quoting some excerpts from what ordinary Nigerians said of Ojukwu after his death, on a website discussing the seminal Aburi Accord:

 

"Aburi can again help us avoid another Biafra. MIDDLE BELT people are clearly being pushed & provoked without cause."

 

"Love him or hate him, he was one politician that stole no money- check the records.

 

Adieu, Lion of the Tribe of Biafra!"

 

"Ojukwu is gone but his life is full of lessons for us to learn: He stood for the truth, fought for the truth and in truth he died. He saw what others could not see - self determination of his people. It took another 40 years for Nigerians to latch on - clamouring for autonomy."

 

"We will miss your courage and hatred for injustice. You gave your all for the emancipation of your people."

 

"He was distinct, patriotic and fearless. He was synonymous with justice and equity. He distanced himself from the pandemic corruption that has ravaged prominent politicians of his time."

 

"He was able to tell us that you can be rich and principled, you can be rich and honest, you can be rich and be a friend of the poor, you can be rich and be a friend of the needy, you can be rich and sacrifice for humanity, you can be rich and remain modest. The list is endless. Ojukwu used his money to pursue people's course, while our present day thieves we call rulers use our money to persecute us, can you see the difference?"

 

"Though you are dead, your fighting spirit is still alive to actualise your dreams, and your children in their generation will immortalise and celebrate you in their new nation."

 

And to that, permit me to add my voice and say:

 

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu!

 

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu!

 

Ikemba Nnewi, Laa n'udo!

 

Ikemba Nnewi, Go in peace!

 

Eze-agha Ndi Biafra

 

War chief of Biafra

 

Dike n'aluru ndi ike adighi ogu

 

Champion who fights for those without strength

 

Onye nchedo ndi an'emegbu emegbu

 

Protector of the exploited

 

Onye n'ebulite onodu onye an'eleli eleli

 

The one who raises the status of the despised

 

Laa n'udo, Ikemba, Laa n'udo!

 

Go in peace, Ikemba, Go in peace!

Chinweizu is the author of The West and the Rest of Us,  Nigerian critic, poet, and journalist. Though he has identified himself and is known simply as Chinweizu, he was born Chinweizu Ibekwe at Eluoma in Isuikwuato in the part of Eastern Region that is known today as Abia State, and was educated at Government Secondary School, Afikpo. He later attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for college education. While studying in America, during the civil rights era, Chinweizu became influenced by the philosophy of a black arts movement. He is commonly associated with Black orientalism.

African-born Luol Deng, A US Basketball player honors Africa with T-shirt

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng wore a black shirt emblazoned with an outline of Africa on it before being introduced at the All-Star Game on Sunday night. Deng, who is originally from the South Sudan and was making his first All-Star appearance, said he decided to wear the shirt in order to inspire young kids from his native land.

 

"I wouldn't do something that's negative," Deng said. "I wouldn't do that at all. If you look at the T-shirt, it's not of anything. I'm not advertising anything. I just felt like being where I'm from and where I came from, it's something that I always wanted to see as a kid. Now that I'm I here I had a chance (to do that). I'm sure there's a kid out there, or a lot of kids, who really enjoyed it and made them happy to see that."

 

When Deng's name was announced, he stood on a platform with the rest of the Eastern Conference reserves and held the shirt up off his chest proudly. It was a decision he said he had been thinking about for a while.

 

"It's a lot," Deng said of representing Africa. "I appreciate the fact that I'm in the position that I'm in to do so. I just felt like there's only been (Hakeem) Olajuwon and Dikembe (Mutombo) and both were big men. Being a perimeter player (from Africa), it hasn't happened before. And I just felt like I didn't want the kids to just see it and just go by. I just wanted them to remember where I came from and get something out of it."

 

Deng said he wasn't sure if he would be fined for the gesture, but he didn't seem to care.

 

"I really don't know," he said. "If I get fined, I'm OK. To me, what I did is worth it for me."

 

Luol Deng (left)bbc


Even though Deng only played six minutes on Sunday after falling on his injured left wrist late in the first quarter, he seemed to enjoy almost every part of the All-Star experience. He enjoyed celebrating the occasion with his friends and family, some of whom made the trip with him.

 

"For me to be selected meant a lot more to me," he said. "Being selected and recognized as an All-Star meant a lot more to me than what I was going to show or do tonight on the floor."

 

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESP Chicago.com and ESPN 1000.

 

UPDATE: James Ibori  admits financial crime of stealing $250 million

" Former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta state, accused of stealing $250 million from the public purse, pleaded guilty in a London court Monday to fraud and money-laundering. James Ibori, 49, entered his plea at Southwark Crown Court . He is to be sentenced on April 16. Ibori’s guilty pleas capped an inquiry which began in association with Nigerian anti-corruption investigators in 2005. Ibori was immune from prosecution in Nigeria between 1999 and 2007 when he was serving as governor of Delta state, police said," according to report by Robert Barr, Associated Press.

The story of how James Ibori went from convicted thief in London in the 1990s, to become governor of a wealthy oil-producing Nigerian state and then to a British prison is a remarkable one.

 

It is the story of a wily political operator, backing the right political horses and shifting allegiances when expedient.

 

Given slightly different circumstances, according to one observer, it could have seen Ibori in the presidential villa rather than a British jail cell.

 

Ibori's defence in the face of allegations had always been that he had a successful business career and had made money independent of government.

 

But in 1991, he was working in a hardware store in the London suburb of Neasden.

 

James Ibori (file photo)Ibori

Some of Ibori's assets were in the name of his wife, sister and mistress

The prosecution in this trial told a judge he was earning around £15,000 ($24,000) a year.

 

He was caught by his employer allowing his wife to walk through the till he was manning without paying for goods.

 

They both pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court and were fined.

 

In 1992, he was convicted for possession of a stolen credit card, which had £1,000 spent on it, and was again fined in a UK court.

ALL THE STORY: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17184075

 

 

Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Body Arrives International Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja

PROMINENT Igbo leaders and Nigerians thronged the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, to pay their last respect to the ex-Biafrian warlord, Chief Chukuwemeka-Ojukwu, whose corpse arrived in Nigeria on Monday morning.

 

The body arrived at 5.09 a.m in a British Airways plane, accompanied by his wife, Bianca; Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi and other prominent Igbo sons and Ojukwu’s friends. A military parade was held in honour of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) national leader by the Guards Bridage, while the pall bearers were senior army officers.

 

In attendance at the ceremony were the First Lady, Mrs Patience Jona-than; Vice-President Na-madi Sambo; the Senate President, David Mark; his wife, Helen; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihe-dioha; Defence Minister, Dr Bello Haliru; the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Moha-mmed and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terence Mcculley.

AFP

 

First Lady address at Abuja Airport

Other disgnitaries were Chief Tom Ikimi; Senator Chris Ngige; Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Senator Uche Chukwumerije; Professor A. B. C. Nwosu; Lieutenant-General Chris Obiakor (retd); Dubem Onyia; Dr Kema Chikwe; Chief Jim Nwobodo and others. In an interview with the Nigerian Tribune at the airport, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, said the late Ojukwu was one of the first few Nigerian officers to enlist in the Army with a degree. According to him, his death was a big loss to the nation and the Nigerian Army, adding that because of his love for the service to his fatherland, he enlisted and started his military career at the Army Depot, Zaria, notwithstanding that he was a graduate.

 

General Ihejirika noted that when the Army had five battalions, Ojukwu was one of the commanders, while his training with a degree helped to show up the image of the military which was then regarded as a profession for drop-outs. In his remark, Senator Ngige noted that Ojukwu’s popular thinking was against regional arrangement and that was why he joined APGA. Ngige said Ojukwu was a national and detriba-lised leader, who thought of others more than himself.

 

In his remark, the chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, said Ojukwu was a selfless leader who identified with the poor and the downtrodden in the society and never had a house of his own until 2008. The house, at Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, belonged to his father and that was where he always lived. Other speakers who eulogised the Ikemba of Nnewi were Mrs Jona-than, Senator Mark and Vice-President Sambo. A requiem mass was organised in his honour with the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Onaiyekan, officiating. His corpse was later flown in an Airforce Hercules C130 plane in company with his family to Owerri, the Imo State capital, for another funeral ceremony.

 

The body of Ojukwu arrived at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, at about 3.00 p.m from Abuja. The body was received by prominent Igbo leaders, among whom were the Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha; Governor Peter Obi, while the wife of the deceased, Bianca, accompanied the body form Abuja to Owerri.

 

It was observed by the Nigerian Tribune that security agencies were finding it difficult to control crowds that besieged the airport to receive the corpse of the late Ojukwu. The body left the airport in a motorcade and accompanied by the host governor and others to the Government House, Owerri. The Hero Square, where the body is expected to lie in state, had been decorated as a mark of honour to give him a befitting burial. Reports reaching the Nigerian Tribune from Owerri had it that Ojukwu would remain in the state until today, before proceeding to Aba, Abia State, before the final burial at Nnewi.

 

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has extended his condolences to the family of late Igbo warlord. Jonathan, on Monday, said the late Ojukwu lived a humble life, despite being the son of one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria, adding that on his return from the United Kingdom, he was at the civil service and later joined the Nigerian Army, where he began his rise in the military.

 

According to President Jonathan, after the Biafra war, Ojukwu was in exile for 13 years until former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, granted him official pardon and open the road for his return in 1982, adding that it was then the people of Nnewi gave him the popular title of Ikemba, meaning “the strength of the people.” According to President Jonathan, no word could adequately describe the nature, character, legacy and lessons left behind by this soldier and gentleman, adding that he believed the outpouring of encomium could not stop coming.

 

“Let it be said that Ojukwwu died when the country needed his service most, let it be said that he lived and served with all his might when the Igbos and Nigerians needed him most,” Jonathan said. Speaking at the reception for the remains of the former Biafran leader, held at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Jonathan, who was represented on the occasion by Vice-President Sambo said “the legacy bequeathed to the Nigerian Army by Ojukwu as its first Quartermaster-General are now the hallmark of military processes and procedures which, till date, are in use.

 

” Also speaking on the occasion, Mrs Jonathan noted that late Ojukwu, whom she described as an accomplished Nigerian, was not only an icon, but also the pride of his people. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, said Nigeria lost a political treasure in the death of Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Speaking while paying tribute to the late Ikemba Nnewi during the lying-in-state at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Ihedioha described Ojukwu as “an avatar that comes once in a generation,” adding that “his place in Nigerian history is already assured.

 

” According to the deputy speaker, “with his death, the nation has been robbed of the services of a great legend and charismatic patriot.” Ihedioha said with the demise of Ojukwu, Africa had lost a statesman of uncommon abilities, adding that “the death of this eminent soldier-statesman, on Saturday, November 26, 2011 in a London hospital has brought to an end an exciting career and life that were intricately intertwined with the history of modern Nigeria.

 

” Tracing his career trajectory and political contributions to the evolution of the Nigerian nation, Honourable Ihedioha said Ojukwu would be “remembered for his fearlessness, courage, outspokenness and stoic belief in justice, equity and fairness. And I strongly believe that history will be fair and kind to Ikemba for standing up against injustice of his contemporary times.

 

” Meanwhile, leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone, at the weekend, stormed Nnewi, Anambra State, to Commiserate with the Ojukwu family and the entire community over the passage of Chief Dim Odimegwu-Ojukwu, the leader of the Igbo nation. Under the aegis of South-South Peoples Assembly, the leaders described the late Ikemba Nnewi as “a man of prodigious intellect and of great courage, who chose a path of honour to protect his people as well as fighting injustice.

 

” The group, led by former governor of Edo State, Chief Odigie Oye-gun, was received into the expanse Ojukwu family compound by Senator Onyeabo Obi, where members signed the condolence register and used the occasion to see the tomb of Chief Lewis Odumegwu Ojukwu, father of the late warlord. Speaking at the palace of the Igwe of Nnewi, Chief Oyegun noted that what Ojukwu stood for had continued to hunt the nation unresolved which, if ignored, could be at great peril.

 

He recalled that Oju-kwu tried to accomplish what the nation was still struggling for at Aburi, Ghana, during the civil war, to allow the component parts of the nation enough “elbow room so that each can develop at its own pace, at its own way, while choosing its own priorities.” According to him, it was when Aburi failed that Ojukwu was forced to stand up and fight to defend the honour, integrity and dignity of his people. Responding on behalf of the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Obi Orizu and the chiefs-in-council, the Okosisi Nnewi, Chief Dan Ulasi, recalled the cooperation between the South-East and the South-South regions, which manifested in the election of President Jonathan. Chief Ulasi also gave an insight into how Oju-kwu had, in his military and political life, tried to unite the country.

 

Also, the Igbo Community Association (ICA), Kano State chapter, said injustice and other vices, which the late Ojukwu fought for in the 60s, were still bedeviling the country’s socio-economic and political development. Making the assertion on Sunday during the celebration of life of Ojukwu, held at the Nnewi hall, Kano, the Eze Ndigbo of Kano, Chief (Dr) Boniface Ibekwe, said the late Ojukwu fought against all these problems then, but the country was still at a cross road because of injustice , marginalization and other vices In another development, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has said Biafran flag and other insignias would not be displayed during the burial of Ojukwu.

 

MASSOB members were also directed to wear only the specially-designed mourning dress, procured by the leadership of the movement, on the burial day. Rising from the national executive meeting of the movement, held at the MASSOB Freedom House, Okwe, Imo State, Uwazuruike said there would be no badges, caps and other uniforms bearing the Biafra logo on the burial date. Also commenting on the development, the Ogirishi Igbo, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, said apart from giving Ojukwu the last respect he deserved, the MASSOB leadership was comfortable with the decision of the Federal Government to give Ojukwu a state burial, adding that utmost cooperation would be given to the authorities.

Nigerian Tribune

 

 

Local Organising Committee bars MASSOB from Ojukwu’s burial

Local Organising Committee for the burial of Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu has barred the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and local vigilance groups from participating in his burial ceremonies in Anambra State.

 

Ojukwu is expected to be buried on March 2.

 

The Chairman of the LOC, Mr. Dubem Obaze, said in Awka on Sunday that women with handbags would also not be allowed into the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka where the ceremonies would take place for security reasons.

Dubem Obaze

 

Although Obaze did not give any reason for the decision to bar MASSOB from the ceremonies, our correspondent learnt that the LOC feared some of the members of the group could attack some of the personalities invited from across the country.

 

He said only security agencies like the Police, Army, Navy, Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps would provide security.

 

He said commercial motorcycle and rickshaw operators would also be barred from operating around the venue for the ceremonies.

 

Obaze said the decision to thoroughly search and check people to be allowed into the venue was informed by the security situation in the country.

undefinedGov. Obi, Obaze

He said all markets in Anambra and Enugu states would be shut on March 1, while markets across the country controlled by Ndigbo would be closed on March 2 in honour of Ojukwu.

 

The LOC chairman said there would be a public holiday in Anambra the day Ojukwu’s corpse would arrive from Enugu.

Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)

However, MASSOB’ Director of Information, Mr. Uchenna Madu, told our correspondent that irrespective of the ban on the movement from the activities in Awka, MASSOB would fully participate in burial programmes.

 

He said, “Most of these ceremonies are not mandatory. Every Igbo group will organise its own programmes in its own peculiar way.

 

“Some people are afraid that there will be a bloody confrontation between MASSOB and the security agencies. We expect the security agencies to behave maturely. Let’s jointly honour Ojukwu.

 

“We don’t want to make any trouble. We still love the security agencies despite the fact that they are oppressing us.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

 

Monday, 27 February 2012 13:42

Boko Haram:The Dangers of Appeasement

It is not compromise. Compromise is a pragmatic means of negotiation. Appeasement is giving in to conditions that equal blackmail. It is unequal exchange. Ultimately, and in the long run, it undermines the goals and the fundamental objective of the enterprise.

 

In more recent history, it was Neville Chamberlain, who as the British Prime Minister in the inter war years, gave the term "appeasement" its worst name, in ceding much grounds to Hitler in Germany, with the Munich Agreement, and eventually plunging Europe into a war with global consequences following Hitler's invasion of Poland.

 

Appeasement is like sweeping the dust under an already dirty rug. This is precisely what many are pushing the Nigerian president to do in the calls and the pressure to "negotiate" with Boko Haram. I'd like to register a total disgust for that move on two grounds (a) it further weakens the hands of an already weak government and (b) it continues to perpetuate the indeterminacy of the Federal government on matters of national security.

 

By its own avowal, Boko Haram is intent on overthrowing the Federal Government of Nigeria by force of arms and by acts of treasonable subversion, and having secured its aim, upturn a central, cardinal principle of the Nigerian federation: its status as a secular democratic republic by imposing a Sharia theocracy.

 

In tune with its aim, Boko Haram has launched deadly, violent attacks against the institutional symbols of the Federal Government of Nigeria - police stations, military installations, the office of immigration, Nigeria's security personnel, as well indeed as churches and mosques.

 

They upped their ante with the attacks on the United Nations building in Abuja, and the killings of Christian worshippers on Christmas day with the bombing of the St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Madalla, as well as the horrendous attacks on the city of Kano that left hundreds dead. Boko Haram is an equal opportunity killer - they kill Moslems and they kill Christians in the north.

 

They group has killed over two thousand people and counting since it launched its open revolt against the Federal Government, a situation that has exacerbated the uncertainty of the continued union of Nigeria. In December of 2011 it "ordered" all Christians and Southerners to leave the North of Nigeria, failing which they would be attacked. Boko Haram's plan seems to be working, for quite clearly the migrant frenzy has gripped the Igbo in Kano, with MASSOB reportedly sending a retinue of twenty buses to evacuate many Igbo willing to leave the North and setting up a "refugee camp" in Igboland.

 

A rising separatist mood is shaping around the moment and it is very obvious that this political game has moved too far, and as some observers of the trend have noted, might require the intervention of Nigeria's armed forces to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria as a nation. Even that prospectis increasingly weakened by the potential fissures within that institution and by a current doctrinal forbearance. But the point this column is willing to make at this stage is that President Jonathan must not, under the current circumstance, succumb to the pressure and blackmail of "negotiating" with Boko Haram.

 

He must indeed stop negotiating with any terrorist group intent on blackmailing Nigeria into supine tolerance of the very powerful factors and interests that are attempting by their criminal activities to subvert and supplant the Nigerian national endeavor.

 

Recently, leaders of the Arewa Consultative Assembly began to claim that "only a negotiation with Boko Haram" can solve the problem. But here is the trouble: negotiate on the basis of what? To cede control of the federal government to them? What exactly is Boko Haram fighting for and for whom? Colonel Hamid Ali says "military action will not solve the problem." Perhaps indeed not. But that problem will not be solved either by a dawdling and compromised government willing to appease a mindless and fascist revolt against the Nigerian state. It requires decisive action one way or the other.

 

It is appeasement that brought us here. The subversion of Nigeria, since 1998 has much to do with the Obasanjo administration's inability to establish a civilized democracy. The idea of democracy as "a civil" government has roots in the notion that law and abiding by civic order is the mainstay of a civil/civilian/civilized society.

 

But the unresolved killings, political murders, kidnappings, assassinations - including the assassination, execution-style of Nigeria's sitting Attorney-General and such other prominent, public deaths without consequence gave rise to the sense that Nigeria is not only a failed state, and a savage enclave, but one in which atrocity directed at its very soul goes unpunished.

 

Boko Haram is not the first terrorist group in Nigeria. The Niger delta militia was organized, presumably to fight the injustice of oil exploration in the Niger Delta. In time these "militants" of the Niger Delta, first recruited as political thugs, soon morphed into armed insurrection, killing kidnapping, and generally rendering the creeks impassable and inamenable to oil exploration.

 

One could sympathize with them on the basis of their fight for economic justice.

 

But it does seem that the business of national subversion is big businesses - it sells arms and it guarantees huge concessions. Under Yar Adua, the militants were appeased and settled. Today one of them, Tompolo, has a concession for maritime security.

 

Boyloaf is an international envoy for the president. We reward bad behavior: anybody who could organize a private army against Nigeria is bought off with concessions. That is appeasement. Yet, the problem persists. In the end, in spite of all the killings, and with the pressure to negotiate, President Jonathan is moving towards the appeasement of Boko Haram. Nigerians must reject that option. Indeed, the option left for the president is fairly simple: he must re-establish the authority of the Federal Government of Nigeria, by any means necessary.

 

It is time this government establishes law and order and bring to the books any Nigerian, no matter how highly placed, who is connected in any way to the subversion of the nation. Selective and dilatory law enforcement is dangerous to the health of nations. The National Assembly must provide the president grounds with a National Security Act to proscribe Boko Haram, MASSOB, Niger Delta Militia, Oodua People's Congress and other fissiparous entities, and to launch a national security initiative to permanently degrade their activities by both symmetric and asymmetrical methods.

 

It is past time to, as the poet Odia Ofeimun once wrote, take Nigeria seriously. It will not be by appeasement. The greatest security threat to Nigeria is not Boko Haram. It is a government that is unwilling to rise toits highest duty, which is to restore the public trust - the ability to guarantee its citizens national security which includes economic and social security. Selective appeasement of criminal gangs and armed political thugs will not do it.

Sunday, 26 February 2012 22:12

The Making of Nigeria’s Film Industry

A Scorsese in Lagos

Kunle Afolayan wants to scare you, he wants thrill you, he wants to make you laugh, but most of all, he would like you to suspend your disbelief — in his plots, yes, which tend to be over the top, but also about what is possible in Africa. He bristles if you call him an “African filmmaker” — a phrase redolent of art-house cinema, which his work assuredly is not. He wants to make huge, explosive, American-style blockbusters, and he wants to make them where he lives — in Nigeria. His ambitions may sound implausible. Nigeria lacks even a reliable supply of electricity. But it does contain a chaotic creative energy that has made it the world’s most prolific producer of films.

Twenty years after bursting from the grungy street markets of Lagos, the $500 million Nigerian movie business churns out more than a thousand titles a year on average, and trails only Hollywood and Bollywood in terms of revenues. The films are hastily shot and then burned onto video CDs, a cheap alternative to DVDs. They are seldom seen in the developed world, but all over Africa consumers snap up the latest releases from video peddlers for a dollar or two. And so while Afolayan’s name is unknown outside Africa, at home, the actor-director is one of the most famous faces in the exploding entertainment scene known — inevitably — as “Nollywood.”

On a continent where economies usually depend on extracting natural resources or on charity, moviemaking is now one of Nigeria’s largest sources of private-sector employment. Walls around Lagos are plastered with posters reading, “Actors/Actresses Wanted.” Nollywood stars are everywhere, from billboards to glossy tabloids filled with pictures of red-carpet events. The African Movie Academy Awards, held each year in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, have become a lavish spectacle, drawing visitors like Forest Whitaker and Danny Glover. Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has recruited Nollywood stars to campaign with him, while Afolayan and others have lent prominent support to a protest movement called “Occupy Nigeria.”

And yet most of the movies themselves are awful, marred by slapdash production, melodramatic acting and ludicrous plots. Afolayan, who is 37, is one of a group of upstart directors trying to transcend those rote formulas and low expectations. His breakthrough film, the 2009 thriller “The Figurine,” was an aesthetic leap: while no viewer would confuse it with “Citizen Kane,” to Nigerians it announced the arrival of a swaggering talent keen to upset an immature industry. Unlike most Nollywood fare, “The Figurine” was released in actual theaters, not on cheap discs, playing to packed houses next to Hollywood features. “Many observers,” Jonathan Haynes, a scholar of Nollywood, recently wrote, “have been waiting a long time for this kind of filmmaking, which can take its place in the international arena proudly and on equal terms.”

In contrast to Nollywood’s chiseled leading men, Afolayan is stout, speaks with a laid-back drawl and has a noticeable scar on one side of his face from a car accident. But he has undeniable charisma — a quality his admirers say he inherited from his father, an actor and legendary playboy. One sticky August night, I accompanied Afolayan on a prowl through Lagos, weaving through the metropolis in his monstrous pickup truck. We ended up at an open-air nightclub called King Sized, where heads turned as he made his entrance with a boisterous entourage. In West Africa, a famous presence demands recognition, so the resident highlife band swiftly shifted into an impromptu praise song. “Kunle Afolayan,” the vocalist began to trill, “Kunle Afolayan is here!”

As the singer celebrated his name, Afolayan nonchalantly sipped from a sweaty beer bottle. This was a scripted ritual; the entertainment didn’t come free. The chorus reached a crescendo as Afolayan, dressed in faded jeans and bursting from a sheer white shirt, came forward with a huge stack of Nigerian banknotes. He began to dance, shaking his hips and moving his feet, casting off bills with fluid flicks of his wrist — a tribute Nigerians call “spraying.” A band member crawled around, scooping up cash, while Afolayan delighted in the adulation.

READ THE REST: here

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide if companies can be held liable in the United States for international human rights law violations, a case about allegations that Royal Dutch Shell Plc helped Nigeria violently suppress oil exploration protests in the 1990s.

 

The justices said they would hear an appeal by a group of Nigerians who argue they should be allowed to proceed with their lawsuit accusing the oil company of aiding the Nigerian government in human rights violations between 1992 and 1995.

 

The plaintiffs, families of seven Nigerians who were executed by a former military government for protesting Shell's exploration and development, sought to hold the company liable under a 1789 U.S. law called the Alien Tort Statute.

 

A U.S. appeals court in New York dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that corporations cannot be held liable in this country for violations of international human rights law.

 

Attorneys for the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that review was necessary because appeals courts around the nation have issued conflicting rulings on the issue of corporate liability under the more than 200-year-old law.

 

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the Shell case early next year, with a decision likely by June.

 

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the case raised a host of issues of national and international importance.

 

The Alien Tort Statute states that U.S. courts shall have jurisdiction over any civil lawsuit "by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States."

 

'ONLY OPPORTUNITY' TO DETER UNLAWFUL CONDUCT

shell.jpgreuters

"For the victims of human rights violations, such cases often provide the only opportunity to obtain any remedy for their suffering and to deter future unlawful conduct," attorney Paul Hoffman said in the appeal.

 

He said the ruling created blanket immunity for companies engaged or complicit in universally condemned human rights violations, including torture and executions.

 

In the Shell case, the lawsuit accused the company of violations related to the 1995 hangings of the activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other protesters by Nigeria's then-military government.

 

Shell has denied the allegations that it was involved in human rights abuses in Nigeria.

 

Shell's attorney, Rowan Wilson, told the Supreme Court that the appeals court had been correct in dismissing the lawsuit and that further review of the case was unwarranted.

 

The Alien Tort Statute allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts over international law violations.

 

It has been increasingly used in the last 20 years by plaintiffs to sue corporations for alleged involvement in human rights abuses overseas. There have been a number of recent U.S. appeals court rulings on the issue.

 

In one case, Indonesia villagers accused Exxon Mobil Corp's security forces of murder, torture and other abuses between 1999 and 2001 while in another case Firestone tire company was accused of using child labour in Liberia.

 

Many of the lawsuits over the past 20 years have been unsuccessful, though there have been a handful of settlements, attorneys involved in the Shell case said.

 

The Supreme Court also agreed to hear another case that raised a similar issue. The court will consider whether the Torture Victim Protection Act applied only to persons or also applied to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

 

The case involved a lawsuit against the PLO by the widow and sons of a U.S. citizen, Azzam Rahim, a Palestinian born and raised in the West Bank, who allegedly was tortured and killed in 1995 at a prison in Jericho. The PLO has denied the allegations.

 

The Supreme Court cases are Esther Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, No. 10-1491, and Asid Mohamad v. Jibril Rajoub, No 11-88.

 

(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John Wallace, Dave Zimmerman)

 

Start
Prev
1
Page 1 of 5

Featured Articles and Reports

  • The Tragic Crude Oil Theft! The Tragic Crude Oil Theft!
      "Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell, lost about $1.6 billion dollars to theft and other disruption to its Nigerian oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in 2013. The company, also, noted that oil...
  • In Nigeria, Terrorism Moves South In Nigeria, Terrorism Moves South
      LATE last month, a workman on his way to my house rang to explain that he was running late because of the mayhem caused by a bomb blast in the city. Instantly, I was skeptical. There couldn’t possibly...
  • Anambra  and Chinemelum made history in the  WAEC Anambra and Chinemelum made history in the WAEC
    Anambra State made history again by scoring the highest percentage number recorded in the recent result released by the West African Examination Council, WAEC.  The released statistics from WAEC also...
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor - “I am Igbo and I ‘m Proud to be a Nigerian” Chiwetel Ejiofor - “I am Igbo and I ‘m Proud to be a Nigerian”
    ‘Of course, I am Nigerian-British, But I Was Born In London’- Chiwetelu Ejiofor   Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar nominated international movie star and Hollywood rising dramatic actor was in Lagos,...
  • Fitch affirms Nigeria at ‘BB-’; Outlook Stable Fitch affirms Nigeria at ‘BB-’; Outlook Stable
    Press Release
    Fitch Ratings has affirmed Nigeria’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘BB-’ and ‘BB’, respectively. The Outlooks are Stable. The issue...
  • Nigeria may be one of the top 15 economies by 2050 Nigeria may be one of the top 15 economies by 2050
      In the past year, I’ve visited Nigeria three times – more than I’ve travelled to any other country except the US. I mentioned this to an audience on my most recent trip, saying I wasn’t sure...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15

Strategic Research and Analysis

  • George W Bush  painted  world leaders including Africans George W Bush painted world leaders including Africans
    George W Bush, former US President has another side of him that the public rarely seem or noticed.  On Saturday of  April 5th he shown his exhibitions of the painting of 24  world political leaders and heads of state including three African presidents that he shared the world stage during his tenure.   AP/Benny Snyder   Olusegun Obasanjo and  John Kufuor, former presidents of Nigeria and Ghana together with the current Liberian president,Ellen...
  • Nigeria Senate Confirms Emefiele as CBN Governor Nigeria Senate Confirms Emefiele as CBN Governor
    Godwin Emefiele  has been screened and confirmed  as the Central Bank Governor designate by   Nigerian upper house, the country's Senate. The procedural screening lasted for almost 3 hours.   During the confirmation and screening Central Bank Governor designate, Godwin Emefiele narrated his vision for Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and said that a stable and strong naira will ensured "that Nigeria maintained a strong exchange rate."   He...
  •  Dr. Kingsley Moghalu: The voice of Reason and Conscience at CBN Dr. Kingsley Moghalu: The voice of Reason and Conscience at CBN
    An average Nigerian identifies the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by its executive governor, in this case the suspended chieftain of CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sansi who has everybody speaking about him. Not because he has reversed the slumped, nosedived and gyrating naira into a stabilized and appreciated currency.  Neither has he made the smallest naira denominations (1K, K5, K25, K50) a real medium of exchange, that have occupied respectable place at monetary...
  • Ukraine's Crimean mocks Obama with Photoshopped and  declare independent Ukraine's Crimean mocks Obama with Photoshopped and declare independent
    Ukraine's Crimean mocks Obama with Photoshopped and  declare independent
    "Ukraine's Crimean peninsula declared itself an independent nation Monday after its residents voted overwhelmingly to secede and try to join Russia, while U.S. and European Union diplomats discussed sanctions against Russia for backing the referendum.   Ukraine's political turmoil has become Europe's most severe security crisis in years and tensions are high since...
  • Gov. Peter Obi: My governor, my brother Thanks a million! Gov. Peter Obi: My governor, my brother Thanks a million!
    "Governor Obi has done a great job, he has made us proud  and his tomorrow is  full of great promises" - Chief Onyechi Nzekwu (Omozele). Chairman, Inland Group USA
    “Obi is a man of vision, mission, focus, compassion, piety and integrity”. His legacies will serve as a lasting guide for future leaders in the state.'" - Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary     Every good thing has an end. It was just like yesterday that...
  • ANAMBRA 2014 – Rebirth or Rendezvous with Destiny ANAMBRA 2014 – Rebirth or Rendezvous with Destiny
      As Anambra prepares to ring out the old and ring in the new administration, the stakes and challenges can’t be any higher. The State is at a precipice with a weary population that have suffered and endured so much for so long. The outgoing administration no doubt made great strides, considering where it started. However, the expectations and aspirations of the masses from their government remains a colossal illusion.   There is deep resentment...
  • PhotoNews: President Jonathan  Ground Breaking Ceremony Of 2nd Niger Bridge Onitsha PhotoNews: President Jonathan Ground Breaking Ceremony Of 2nd Niger Bridge Onitsha
    " President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday flagged off the construction of a 1.8-kilometre mega-bridge linking Nigeria's southwestern and south-southern regions to the sprawling markets of the country's southeast. "The Second Niger Bridge is a strategic national infrastructure that holds so much importance for our economy," Jonathan said in a short speech before unveiling the bridge's foundation stone. "It links the southwest to the southeast; it's...
  • Lupita Nyong'o ' s Speech on Black Skin and Black Beauty Lupita Nyong'o ' s Speech on Black Skin and Black Beauty
      Lupita Nyong'o, the Kenyan actress who has just won an Oscar Award for  her role in critically acclaimed film, '12 Years a Slave' was also honored with the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. On her acceptance speech at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, she spoke about black color and beauty in the era of bleaching cream that is devaluing the self worth of Black people, blackness...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
HOUSTON 62.6 °F
ABUJA 80.6 °F
LAGOS 84.2 °F
JOHANNESBURG 69.8 °F
    Ferienhaus Ostsee
1 DOW 16,408.54
-16.31 (-0.10%)    
2 S&P 1,864.85
+2.54 (0.14%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,095.52
0.00 (0.00%)    

Want to Submit an Article?

Or would you like to contact us?

Find more info here>>