Finance Chiefs Demand Quick Greek Aid Deal at Washington Talks .

Saturday, April 24, 2010

By Theophilos Argitis and Flavia Krause-Jackson

Finance ministers urged European governments and the International Monetary Fund to complete an aid package swiftly for cash-strapped Greece as its officials held emergency loan talks in Washington.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner “encouraged them to move quickly,” his department said yesterday after he met his Greek counterpart George Papaconstantinou, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and European officials. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said “the longer this situation carries on, the more damaging it is for Greece.”
Papaconstantinou is negotiating terms for a financial lifeline of as much as 45 billion euros ($60 billion) this year as investors doubt his country can finance itself after its budget deficit totaled 13.6 percent of gross domestic product last year. Any delay in striking a deal may trigger a further sell-off in the country’s assets and hurt markets elsewhere.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters in Washington that some Group of 20 countries, including Europeans, fear the aid plan is “not enough” and want to ensure any rescue is a “one-time event.” Papaconstantinou will hold a press conference at about 10:30 a.m. today.

‘Not Buying’
Papaconstantinou also met yesterday with European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn. Discussions centered on the appeal for cash and “the progress of work under way in Athens for the preparation of the medium-term economic program of reforms supporting EU and IMF financing,” the Greek finance ministry said in a statement.
Even with the first bailout of a euro-area member nearing, investors are signaling concern about the country’s ability to end its fiscal crisis. A rebound in Greek bonds after the government’s request for support on April 23 fizzled out with the yield on the two-year note rising to 10.23 percent having fallen to 9.63 percent.
Greece’s travails helped weaken European stocks for a second week with the country’s banks including National Bank of Greece SA and EFG Eurobank Ergasias sinking as Moody’s Investors Service cut its credit rating.
“We are not buying Greek debt while so many problems remain unsolved,” said Ralf Ahrens, who holds Greek bonds as part of the about $20 billion he manages as head of fixed-income at Frankfurt Trust. “Asking for the package will not calm down the market.”

2010-11 Plan
European policy makers have only spelled out the aid that Greece would receive over the next year, sparking concern about how the country will fund itself beyond 2011. Germany’s government, which would be the biggest euro-area donor to the package, must pass legislation before it can dispense the money.
While Greece has pledged to lower its budget gap below the EU’s 3 percent limit by 2012, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says the country’s challenge is so great it may cut or delay payments to bond investors.
“We wouldn’t touch Greece at the moment,” said Rod Davidson, head of fixed income at Alliance Trust Plc in Dundee, Scotland. “The market needs some clarity on whether or not there will be some kind of restructuring of Greek bonds. There’s too much uncertainty and volatility.”

Early May
Rehn told reporters in Washington on April 23 that an aid program will likely be agreed by early May and extend over three years. Greece faces 8.5 billion euros of bonds maturing May 19. Strauss-Kahn declined to answer reporters’ questions on Greece yesterday other than to say its citizens “shouldn’t fear the IMF.”
Greek unions and opposition political parties have already slammed Prime Minister George Papandreou for turning to the lender, criticized in the past by Asian and Latin American nations for demanding too much austerity. ADEDY, the Athens- based federation representing the more than 500,000 Greek civil servants who have had wage cuts this year, called the move a “barbaric attack” and planned a rally for April 27.
Papaconstantinou arrived at his hotel about 2 a.m. yesterday dressed in black tracksuit pants and a hooded top. He arrived to find the reception unstaffed and declined to comment when asked by Bloomberg News about his plans in Washington.
He is also scheduled to meet today with Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren, according to the Greek embassy in Washington.

Contagion Risk
Foreign officials differed over the risk posed by Greece’s turmoil to the global economic recovery. Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said it “is not big enough to threaten” the rebound. Darling said “as long as this problem is allowed to continue to smolder it will hold back peoples’ confidence in the ability of Europe to come through the recession.”
Brazilian central bank President Henrique Meirelles said Greece’s fiscal mess served as a warning to other governments to cut their budget deficits.

“The whole world will have to face the fiscal issue, even larger countries have public debts substantially above what they had before the crisis,” Meirelles said. “This was an alert in the sense that we have a problem ahead.”

European central bankers in Washington played down speculation that Greece’s woes could spill over to other high- deficit countries such as Spain or Portugal. Trichet said April 23 that “Spain is not Greece.”
“Is there a risk for other countries in the zone? No, the other situations have absolutely nothing to do with that of Greece,” Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said. His Austrian counterpart, Ewald Nowotny, said in an interview that “with Portugal and Spain, if you look at the numbers they do not compare with those of Greece.”

World Bank, IMF Predict 50% Drop in Poverty in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries by 2015

From Ayodele Aminu

Poverty in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries would drop by 50 per cent by 2015, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have said. This means that the poverty level of the affected countries, which  is currently at 42 per cent, would drop to 21 per cent in five years’ time.

The Federal Government estimates put poverty rate in Nigeria at 55 per cent but independent observers insist that 70 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line.
The latest Global Monitoring Report 2010 on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) released at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. yesterday, said the estimates are largely based on the strong progress in some regions before the global financial crisis.

However, the report said that as a result of the crisis, 53 million more people will remain in extreme poverty by 2015 than it otherwise would have been. Overall, the report projects that the number of extreme poor could total around 920 million five years from now, marking a decline from the 1.8 billion people living in extreme poverty in 1990.
The MDGs - a set of internationally agreed targets adopted in 2000, measures the extent to which people across the world have access to clean water, education, food, healthcare and other basic needs.

However, the critical MDG target of reducing by half the number of people suffering from hunger from 1990 to 2015 is unlikely to be met, as over a billion people struggle to meet basic food needs, the report says.
Both the 2008 food price crisis and the financial crisis that began in the same year have exacerbated hunger in the developing world.
Moreover, the report noted that malnutrition among children has a multiplier effect, accounting for more than a third of the disease burden of children under age five. According to the report, for the period from 2009 to the end of 2015, an estimated 1.2 million additional deaths may occur among children under five due to crisis-related causes.

While noting that these effects might have been more serious, the report stated that pre-crisis policy reforms by developing countries, as well as strong actions by countries and international financial institutions helped avert a much worse crisis.
“Governments kept social safety nets intact (at least through 2009), and massive efforts by the international community to limit economic contraction and contagion have paid off.
“Spurred by recent strong performance in emerging economies and the recovery of global trade, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in developing countries is projected to accelerate to 6.3 per cent in 2010, up from 2.4 per cent in 2009, according to new IMF projections contained in the report.  Global output, meanwhile, is projected to increase to 4.2 per cent this year, reversing a decline of 0.6 per cent in 2009.

“The international community cannot afford to be complacent, since the recovery remains fragile, with long-term implications for many of the goals, including those related to health and education,” cautioned Justin Yifu Lin, World Bank Chief Economist.
Before the crisis hit, progress on the individual MDGs was already mixed. The proportion of children under five who are underweight declined from 33 per cent in developing countries in 1990 to 26 per cent in 2006, a much slower pace than is needed to halve it by 2015. Improvement on this target has been slowest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where as many as 35 percent of children under five suffer from stunting.

“The crisis is hitting everyone. But for poor countries, the impact will last long after the global economy has recovered,” said Lin. “Furthermore, if recovery is not sustained, continued weak external conditions could lead to widespread domestic policy failure. History tells us that the consequences for human development will be disastrous,” he warned


Suze Orman's Action Plan:"Suze's Instant $10K Emergency Fund Sweepstakes"

Suze Orman, host of The Suze Orman Show on CNBC, is a firm believer in maintaining an emergency fund, and she will help one lucky viewer get off to a good start in doing so by giving them $10,000.

A special episode of The Suze Orman Show Saturday at 9 p.m. ET will focus exclusively on Suze Orman's Action Plan. During the episode, Orman will ask four questions about building and keeping an emergency fund. Viewers can then answer those questions on the show's Web site and enter "Suze's Instant $10K Emergency Fund Sweepstakes" through May 2.

Nadia Buari Marries Secretly (Rumour)

Nadia Buhari, a movie goddess of immaculate beauty, is said to have gotten married recently and there is a wild hunt for who the husband might be though family sources have not said much.

As if to confirm the report, Nadia has started wearing a sparkling ring on her ring finger. She has been spotted wearing this sparkling ring at a number of official programs but has decided to keep the issue of her supposed marriage under wraps. “It’s my little secret. I’m not sharing that,” was all Nadia Buhari told myjoyonline when she was questioned about her new ring.

It is public knowledge that Nadia had been in a long-term love relationship with golden-boy Michael Essien of Chelsea Football Club and that has added a sting to the controversy surrounding her sparkling ring. Many would have concluded Essien was responsible for the ring on Nadia’s finger, if not for recent grapevine reports that suggested the two had called off their relationship for undisclosed reasons.

NEWS-ONE recently asked Nadia about her marriage plans and she was quite slippery on the subject. “I want to establish myself well before I get married. Before you become somebody’s wife you must have your own life. I have to work so hard to get to this point of my life and I am going to continue because I don’t think I have achieved enough or what I want to achieve. Marriage kind of pulls you down.

It demands a lot and I am not willing to relax, I want to work harder and get somewhere. I will get married but not any time soon. Probably a couple of years, I am not sure. But anyway, hey! You never know. I may say this now but tomorrow may come with something different,” Nadia told NEWS-ONE in that interview at Akosombo.

In that interview, Nadia explained that though her fans would want to know what is going on in her life, the media should be cautious and respect her privacy saying she considers matters concerning her relationship private.

“I feel that part of me is very personal, very private so it should stay that way. What I am bringing to the public is the movies. It is what I am doing, my career is my job. hat is what we should be talking about. I don’t like to talk about my private life and so I don’t want my private life out there.

“I am extremely quiet because I am a very shy person. You will never know me until you get close to me and you will know the kind of person I am,” she noted. She would, however, not talk about her alleged collapsed relationship with Michael Essien and speculations that she had a child with a Holland-based Ghanaian.

Nadia Buhari, daughter of music icon, Alhaji Sidiku Buhari, is undoubtedly one of the topmost actresses on the screens. She has become a household name in Africa most especially in Ghana and Nigeria and has close to 40 movies to her credit.

Essien says he may be forced to miss World Cup

Chelsea's Michael Essien may sacrifice playing for Ghana at the World Cup for the sake of the rest of his career.

Essien, 27, has not played for Chelsea since tearing a hamstring in December. He then hurt his knee on Ghana duty at the Africa Cup of Nations in January. "If I make it for the World Cup then great - if not I have my whole career ahead of me," he told Chelsea's official website.

"The last thing I want is to rush back and cause more problems down the line." Essien's last run-out in a Chelsea shirt was against Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League in December.

Having recovered from his hamstring tear, he then hurt his knee at the Africa Cup of Nations, but that was only expected to keep him out for six weeks.

It was anticipated he would make his Chelsea comeback in the Champions League game against Inter Milan, but his knee continued to swell up and he underwent four lots of surgery inside a fortnight. Essien is central to Ghana's hopes in South Africa, but with their first game against Serbia on 13 June, he has admitted that he might be forced to look on as a spectator. "The World Cup is the best and most difficult football tournament in the world and I would rather be there fully fit," he said on his official website. "We will just have to wait and see. If not I'll have to sit at home and support the team like every Ghanaian." Chelsea could also be without John Mikel Obi for their remaining fixtures - against Stoke, Liverpool and Wiganin the league and Portsmouth in the FA Cup final. Mikel tore his meniscus in the 2-1 defeat against Tottenham last Saturday, telling "I won't play this weekend and the doctors say it will take about three weeks to heal, although there will be no surgery." Mikel has been named in Nigeria's World Cup squad of 44 and says he intends to be at their training camp in England at the end of April. "It is very important for all of us as players to get together, even if there is no match," he said.

Related Posts:

Knee Injury May Keep Ghana's Michae Essien Out Of World Cup

Michael Essien may miss the World Cup because of his long-term knee injury, the Ghana and Chelsea midfielder said on Saturday.

Essien has been sidelined since the African Nations Cup finals in Angola in January and recent complications have stalled his recovery.

"If I can make it in time for the World Cup then great but if not I still have my whole career ahead of me and that is more important than anything," he told the Premier League club's website (

"The last thing I want to do is rush back too soon and cause further problems down the line."

Related Posts:

Jimoh Ibrahim Takes Over Virgin Nigeria

By Festus Akanbi

The management of the debt-ridden Nigerian Eagle Airline, formerly known as Virgin Nigeria changed hands at the weekend following its take over by the Group Managing Director of Nicon Group, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim.
A competent source told THISDAY yesterday that the deal, which was struck last week, got the go-ahead of the company’s creditor, United Bank for Africa Plc, after a vigorous negotiation process.

According to the source, part of the agreement with the bank was to allow the new management inject fresh funds into the airline to enable it cope with the emerging challenges in the aviation sector. The debt owed UBA by the airline will then be serviced after the company must have found its feet.

THISDAY also learnt that a merger between Nigerian Eagle and NICON Airways, one of the companies earlier taken over by Ibrahim’s group, is in the offing.
Following the takeover, the new management has redeployed the airline’s executive director (finance) although his new portfolio was not disclosed as at yesterday.
However, the airline’s chief executive officer, Captain Dapo Olumide retains his position.
Ibrahim said at a news conference yesterday that the company’s turnaround would start with a diagnostic review of all files and status reports of the company and will take up to two years.

He explained that Olumide was retained because of a vote of confidence passed on him by the board of the airline.

He said conscious efforts would be made to safeguard the integrity of the nation through the operation of the Nigerian Eagle Airline.
Ibrahim, who said the new management was not envisaging a geometric growth for the company, said the turnaround process would be conservative and arithmetical. He said safety and human resources would be his topmost priority.
Consequently, Ibrahim has directed that all maintenance contracts be left completely in the hand of Lufthansa Technik. He has also directed the payment of all outstanding liabilities to the German company.

“We had made payment of all outstanding liabilities  to Lufthansa Technik as at close of hour of business and they will be responsible for the fleet without interference. He directed that the managing director should commence the process of acquisition of three aircraft that is already outstanding and it must be completed before the end of May 2010,” a statement from the company read.

When asked about the future of NICON Airways, Ibrahim said that he ordered the suspension of NICON Airways to give room for its re-launch into the aviation industry and said the present transaction would provide another opportunity for NICON Airways to merge with Nigerian Eagle Airline.
Olumide, in his initial reaction, assured the staff of  Nigerian Eagle Airline to brace up to the challenges that the turnaround programme may pose and assured them that all will be done to ensure a successful outing for the company. According to him, safety and human resources are top priority of the turnaround plan.

A restructuring of Nigerian Eagle's ownership was necessitated by the Virgin Atlantic Airways' decision to distance itself from the Lagos-based carrier. Virgin was seeking a buyer for its 49 per cent stake in Nigerian Eagle. The remaining 51 per cent is held by Nigerian institutional investors.
A $185 million private placement memorandum was issued through UBA Capital. The bank is itself a shareholder in the airline, but intends to reduce its holding.
"They want to be the lead banker for the airline. They are in for the long term, but they have got to reduce their exposure to a sensible level," explained Olumide at the recent African Airlines Association meeting in Maputo, Mozambique.

The company, had in its search for potential equity partners hired a consultancy firm, Ernst & Young. There has been "a lot of interest" from the Middle East, says Olumide, but the airline is also targeting potential African investors.
Although the percentage of the ownership of the new management is yet to be made public, there are indications that Ibrahim has indeed taken a controlling stake in the airline. Olumide had predicted that a private buyer would want a controlling stake of 51 per cent or more, comprising Richard Branson-owned Virgin's 49 per cent and some of the shares held by Nigerian institutional investors.

He said the airline would ultimately choose "one or the other" between the UBA private placement, which is a debt solution, and the "straightforward equity" option through Ernst & Young.
Experts had said that for Nigerian Eagle Airline to go down the equity path, it would look to raise a minimum of $200 million. Around $50 million would be used to pay back part of a $100 million convertible bond held by UBA. The remainder would be used for capital projects, such as the airline's order for seven Embraer 170s and three 190s.

Efforts to get the reaction of UBA officials yesterday failed as the bank’s spokesperson, Charles Aigbe could not be reached on phone.


Kennedy Agyepong to run for President

New Patriotic Party hot head and firebrand, Hon. Kennedy Agyepong has announced today that he is nurturing presidential ambitions. Speaking to Moro Awudu on Citi FM's morning show, the Assin North MP revealed that he is only 50 years and "knows what time it is" so he will be the best president for Ghana. Hon Agyepong would not state specifically when he will run but he was full of confidence that when he does run, he will win.

He indicated that the reason why he will win can be traced to his simple dressing which makes him approachable and the fact that since 1992 nobody has contributed the amount of cash comparable to what he has given the NPP.

The NPP maverick decried the Akyem Ashanti divide in the NPP and said it was absolutely useless. He said if the trend continued, they will push Ashantis and Akyems aside and that will even make his presidential bid easier since he is from the Central Region. He had tough and unkind words for the "suspended" Ashanti Regional NPP Organiser Kennedy KanKam who he accused of being naïve and reckless.

Hon. Agyepong renewed his support for Nana Addo and controversially argued that if Nana Addo was president he will never have charged Kwadwo Mpani and Charles Wereko Brobbey no matter what.


Charles Donkor, a Ghanaian Farmer defiles 14 -year-old girl.

Mpraeso, April 24, GNA -Charles Donkor, a 47-year-old farmer and video operator on Friday, appeared before the Mpraeso Circuit Court, for defiling a 14-year-old primary six pupil. Donkoh, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and has been remanded in police custody for two weeks.

Prosecuting, Detective Police Inspector Christian Apronti told the court, presided over by Mr Alex Owusu Ofori that, the victim, who attends the Ehiawoaewu District Assembly Primary school near Akoase, stays with her mother whiles Donkor, who lived at Tiawiah, goes round the surrounding villages including Ehiawoaewu, showing video films. He said the victim's mother detected that her daughter had been pilfering some items like rice and provisions from her store to Donkor, whenever he comes to the village to show video films, to enable her to watch without paying.

The prosecutor said the victim's mother confronted Donkor and warned him not to allow the girl to enter the video centre again. On April 09, Donkor went to the Ehiawoaewu village on his usual rounds to show his video film and managed to lure the victim into his room after the show around 0030 hours.

He then had sex with the girl whiles her mother was frantically looking for her. The prosecutor said at about 01.00 hours the victim's mother had a tip-off that the girl was in Donkor's room so she went there and after several knocks on the door, the victim came out but took to her heels. A report was made to the police and Donkor was arrested and a medical form was later issued to the victim to attend hospital for medical examination. The report later showed that the girl had been sexually assaulted but Donkor denied having had sex with her.

Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) legislation extended to Ghana’s oil industry

By Kofi Adu Domfeh

The Government is extending legislation on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) to Ghana’s oil and gas sector for full disclosure.

Deputy Ministry for Energy, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah says the initiative coupled with the Freedom of Information Bill, is expected to ensure good governance in the oil and gas industry.

The Ghana National petroleum Corporation and the Environmental Protection Agency have also been tasked to ensure that operators strictly abide by set standards.

He disclosed this in speech read for him at the Ashanti regional forum on the Local Content and Local Participation in Petroleum Activities. The Local Content policy framework, which has been approved by Cabinet is to be developed into legislation to ensure Ghanaians obtain maximum benefits from the oil find.

Mr. Buah noted the prevention of resource curse requires that exploratory and productive activities are not exposed to serious security risks.

He says the construction of pipelines to convey gas to the Aboadze Thermal plant among other industrial project offer prospects for local professionals and investors.

“We have plans to build an industrial estate to house the petrochemical and other industrial facilities. A mini harbor, warehousing facilities and storage tanks would be required. A rail line would also be required. With the availability of gas as cheap energy source, any sort of industrial activity can take place within the area.

“As for ancillary business activities like real estate, telecommunications, banking, insurance, weather forecasting, search and rescue services, transport and catering, the opportunities are unlimited”, the Deputy Energy Minister stated.

Mr. Buah challenged local investors and businesses to improve their capacity and skills level to take up investment opportunities available in the emerging oil and gas industry.

Related Posts:

Ekiti Elections Petitions Tribunal: The contentions of the parties

By Adediwura Aderibigbe

With bated breath, everyone is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the petition filed by Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the AC against the return of Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State. This is the second Elections Petitions Tribunal since the gubernatorial election of April 14, 2007.The present Election Petition Tribunal was consequent upon the Appeal Court Judgment which nullified the election of Mr. Segun Oni on the grounds of non- compliance with the Electoral Act and ordered a rerun election. Mr. Segun Oni pooh-poohed and lambasted the judiciary for this historic judgment alleging that the court wore a garb of bias in relying on the glaring inconsistencies in the said election to order a rerun in the areas complained of. Mr Oni held on to the use of the colour of biro, even though the court’s findings included over-voting, alterations, ballot paper swapping etc. Supplementary elections were ordered in 10 local governments of the State. Results came in from 48 wards: Ise Orun(10), Ekiti West(3), Ekiti South West(1), Gbonyin (3) Ekiti East(6), Ikole (9) , Irepodun /Ifelodun(8) and Ijero(8). However, no election was held in Oye where suspected PDP thugs reportedly waylaid and killed one AC member, Ahmed Sadiq in front of Arise’s house few days to the rerun election.

While not disputing the fact that this is a season of all sorts of analysies from the sublime to the outright the stupid. In justifying the perfidy and the electoral irregularities of the PDP in Ido/Osi Local Government in particular, such analysts have reeled out a roll call of who is who in the PDP on town by town basis in the local government areas where the rerun was held and how powerful, popular and influential they are. However, this is a mere fallacy as all those mentioned featured prominently in the petition as ballot box snatchers and heavyweight riggers. To put a lie to these unconvincing analyses, in Ise where the current Chairman of State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, a house of representative member, 2 commissioners, Local Government Chairman, A Special Adviser and Assistants all come from, AC still won. In Ipoti and Ifaki especially, traditionally AD/AC had been winning until the latest controversial elections which had not been finally resolved.

Another fallacy of PDP apologists is the Oye election which was postponed twice because of violence. Iwu and Oni had used Oye’s result as a fallback position and boasted of a non-existent 18, 000 votes with which they would cancel the 12,000 lead of Dr. Fayemi as computed by the Appeal Court since Ido/Osi became very controversial and may likely be cancelled. Alas, the much touted and expected 18,000 votes did not materialize because Oye town was diligently monitored by Action Congress leaders including Otunba Niyi Adebayo. At the end of the polls, only 2,039 votes were recorded by both parties as a result of which Iwu and his Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adebayo Ayoka who had earlier rejected the results of the two Ifaki wards, Usi and Orin/Ora later went back and recorded them for Mr. Segun Oni. Ifaki and Usi alone polled 11,000 votes for Mr. Segun Oni in an election that generally recorded a low voters’ turnout where a whole local government of 10 wards (Ise) known for the presence of PDP’s so called heavyweights, polled only a little above 7,000 (AC won in the Local Government). When Oye failed, rejected Ido/Osi votes came in handy after 10 days of disappearance and reappearance of Ayoka Adebayo who did not come to court to defend her volte-face. It is interesting to note that contrary to the claim of Akintola, AC won convincingly in Oye polling 11,337 to PDP’s 8,746.

However, the rerun election witnessed more violence and irregularities than the April 2007 general elections. The result of the supplementary election on the basis of which Segun Oni was declared winner was so contentious that nobody could wait to sign the final result as there was a rowdy and tense atmosphere at the venue of the declaration of final results. The strange happenings that characterized the conduct of the election makes it unique in Nigeria. The State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner disappeared shortly after she cried out to the public that some people were pressurizing her to announce fake result. She was thereafter declared wanted by the security High Command and she reappeared only to bow to pressure by announcing a controversial result which she had earlier rejected. The combination of all these factors was responsible for the petitioners going to the tribunal for the second time in two years. Dr. Fayemi and the AC challenged the result of the gubernatorial election in 6 wards viz- Ifaki wards I and II, Usi, Orin /Ora and Ipoti wards A and B.

The Elections Petitions Tribunal which was set up to adjudicate the issues arising from the supplementary elections had Justice Hamman Barka as Chairman, with Justices S.U Dikko, A.A Adebara, Obande Ogbuiya and Justice M.B Goji as members. The trials started by calling of witnesses by the Petitioners, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Action Congress who opened its case and called 47 witnesses. The eight Respondents are: Mr. Olusegun Adebayo Oni (67 witnesses), Peoples Democratic Party (31winesses), Independent National Electoral Commission (32 witnesses), Resident Electoral Commissioner of Ekiti State, Returning Officers for Ido/Osi & Ijero Local Government Areas, the Nigeria Police Force & Inspector General of Police.

The proceedings lasted between July 25, 2009 and March 15, 2010. Adoption of Addresses took place on April 13, 2010.

Issues raised by the Respondents Counsels in their written submissions at the adoption are: Counsel to Mr. Segun Oni, Adenipekun submitted that the petitioners’ pleadings are contradictory to their written submissions. They pleaded there was no election but they submitted that there was no election known to law. Adenipekun caused a stir in court when he said that the Supreme Court has said there must be irregularities in elections because of the aggressive nature of Nigerian politicians but cited no authority to back the assertion.

Counsel to the PDP, Obafemi Adewale dwelt on substantial compliance and though he admitted that there were infractions, they were not enough to nullify the election more so when nobody is above mistake. He dwelt severally on section 146(1) of the Electoral Act 2006.

Counsel to the Electoral Officers of Ido-Osi and Ijero Local Government Areas, Tayo Oyetibo harped on the fact that the petitioners did not present before the tribunal an alternative result with which the tribunal would declare them winners and that the tribunal cannot manufacture any for them since they are not magicians. He argued that the burden of proof is on the petitioner who asserted that there was no election.

Counsel to the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police, argued that there was no demand for the police to produce form EC 8A but was only contained in the final address of the petitioners. He urged the tribunal to hold that there was no evidence against the police. He maintained that the Police did not conduct an election but to provide security which it did perfectly well.

In his reply to the issues raised by the Counsels to the respondents, Yusuf Ali, counsel to the Petitioners argued that there was no election and if any had been purportedly conducted, it was not known to any Nigerian law and the electoral Act. He explained that it is implied that if you hold an election not founded on any law, it means there is no election. He said the gist of his pleadings is that there was no election in Ifaki wards I and II known to law. He referred to the evidence of PW 34, Peter Oladosu alias Erinmoje concerning massive violence, multiple thumb printing and disenfranchisement. He said the respondents were unable to rebut the evidence of PW 34 and other witnesses concerning violence and were unable to vitiate the evidences adduced from video of violence perpetrated by agnts of 1

st and 2nd respondents (Mr. Segun Oni and PDP). He cited the case of Omoworare vs Omisore. On the issue of substantial non compliance raised by counsel to the PDP Obafemi Adewale, Ali argued that since Adewale had admitted that the election was not perfect just as the petitioners were not perfect, it shows that any other defence by Adewale is an afterthought.

On the argument of the Counsel to INEC and the REC, Rowland Otaru that there was no over voting because the number of accredited voters in the units concerned did not exceed the number of registered voters; Ali argued in his written submission that Otaru glossed over the issue. He didn’t show the essence of accreditation if the number of votes recorded is more than the number of voters accredited. The tribunals and Courts of Appeal both in Edo and Ondo States in the cases of Osunbor vs Oshiomhole and Agagu vs Mimiko relied grossly in their judgments on the issue of non- accreditation.

In his reply to Counsel to the Electoral Officers that the petitioner did not present an alternative result, Ali replied that where there is no rejoinder to any fact raised either oral or documentary, there is no burden of proof. It is not in all cases that a petitioner is expected to present results of an election. It is only when the document is in dispute. The law is clear on this. He referred to- paragraphs 39-41 of the petition where results were pleaded. Ali further argued that the petitioners pleaded a copy of the result as attached by the Respondents and which is the same as the one pleaded by the petitioners in the aforementioned paragraphs. Ali cited precedents where Appeal Court in the case of Mimiko vs Agagu and that of Oshiomohle and Osunbor the tribunal relied on charts prepared by the petitioners showing what the true results ought to be after deducting the unlawful votes. The same decision was arrived at by the Appeal Court in Ilorin in the case between Fayemi vs Oni where the learned Justices affirmed the chart drawn by the petitioner and sanctified it as the true and lawful result upon which the supplementary rerun was ordered. Even though it had been argued in many quarters that the Appeal Court validated results was enough to declare Dr. Fayemi winner having met the constitutional requirement for such, the Appeal Court in their own wisdom decided otherwise.

Ali argued that the burden of proof is no longer static in law but shifts to the Party that affirms the positive to proof its positivity. One can only proof the positive and not the negative; therefore it is INEC and the other respondents who affirm there was an election that need to proof it. He cited the Enugu Appeal Court Judgment of Igbeke vs Emordi.

On the negligence of duty on the part of the Nigerian Police, Ali argued that the Police did not arrest anybody for the burning of INEC Local Government collation centre in Ido Ekiti despite claiming its men were on ground. To make matters worse, INEC did not lodge a complaint that the place was burnt until 4 months later. In the police extract diary that was tendered in court, it was stated that the INEC office was burnt by yet to be identified hoodlums. Ali argued that the petitioners only joined issue that the Police did not tender their own copies of forms EC8A as a neutral party as provided for by the Electoral Act.

The summary of the petitioners’ argument was to seek a relief for outright declaration as the lawfully elected governor of Ekiti State having polled the majority of lawful votes in both the Court of Appeal validated 2007 election and the lawful votes at the supplementary election of 2009.

However, the contentious final result declared by INEC was, Fayemi-107,017. Segun Oni- 111, 140 leaving a difference of 4, 300 succumbed to vitiation as Innocent Akao the Electoral Officer for Ido-Osi, the purported maker of forms EC 8B and 8C disowned under cross- examination, the results from Ifaki I and II and Orin/Ora Wards.

The petitioners, in paragraph 127 of the petition wish to be declared winner with total lawful votes of 103,880 against Mr. Segun Oni’s (1

st Respondent) 93,104.

Curiously, the respondents’ counsels both in their written and oral submissions failed to address the lacuna of the non-provision of the voters’ register by INEC despite the fact that all the Presiding Officers and RW77 a Professor of Political Science agreed that accreditation of voters is the fulcrum on which an election is built.

Equally, the submissions failed to address the flagrant disregard for INEC’s Election Manual concerning punching and marking of voters’ cards, stamps, colour of ink and initialing results/alterations.

Earlier, before the day of adoption of addresses (April 12, 2010) there was an application which had been made to the Tribunal by the Counsel to the PDP, Obafemi Adewale and supported by other respondents’ counsels that the adoption of addresses be postponed to a later date. The tribunal Chairman reiterated an earlier rejection of the application and ruled that petitioners and respondents should adopt their addresses.

It was alleged that a combination of the above was responsible for the attack on the convoy of Fayemi after the adoption of addresses on April 13, 2010. The expectant judgment has given way to anxiety and paralyzed social and economic activities in Ekiti State. The tribunal had become a sanctuary of hope where people are expecting succor arising from the unease which the unresolved April 2007 General Elections had visited on the fountain of knowledge.

Related Posts:

We Are Ready to Rule the World By Dele Momodu

Pendulum By Dele Momodu

The raging debate everywhere at the moment is if indeed there are no capable youths to lead Nigeria out of the present doldrums. My take on it is simple. We have thousands of capable Nigerians all over the world. None of our sit-tight elders went to a special school to learn how to govern a country. In fact, I’m beginning to think that our problems started from putting half-baked illiterates in power. The tragedy of half-education is that the recipient often thinks he knows everything, when indeed he knows not that he knows not, to borrow Chinua Achebe’s words.  And the deaf would continue to recite the last songs he heard before his hearing became impaired. If we had an enlightened leadership, we won’t be where we are today. An exposed person would have been aware of the word called shame. There is nothing to indicate that most of the crop of leaders we have own a dictionary. If they do, that simple word is missing in their lexicon.

Only a people without shame would fail to see that our airports are just too disgraceful. The putrid smell that welcomed us to Nigeria yesterday morning on our arrival from Ghana was out of this world. As we filed out of the aircraft, we were welcomed to our good old Lagos by the most unfriendly rug crying for replacement. It was dirty and damp. The heat that descended on us was as hot as those emitted by the angry lava in Iceland. As if that was not bad enough, there was a pool of water along the corridor leading to another corridor that takes one to the immigration section. None of the airport or airline staff deemed it fit to do anything about it. There were standing air-conditioners blowing furiously away, and mercifully donated by a bank, but its power was too little to make any difference.

I saw disgust boldly written on the faces of some Nigerians and foreigners alike. I could imagine their state of mind. If you thought that was just it, you are dead wrong. Another joker awaited us. If you had not used a gym for a while, don’t worry a lot. A keep-fit therapy awaited you as you meandered through the queuing rope that was also sponsored by a big bank. What is so difficult about having a flexible system that is adjustable? The last one was the icing on the cake. After waiting for what seemed an eternity, a polite airline officer announced that we were going to retrieve our bags manually because the conveyor belts had refused to cough into action. Some Ghanaian guests attending Dr Mike Adenuga’s daughter’s wedding today exchanged coded looks with me. What could I say? That’s what our leaders have done to us. They smiled. But the message was clear.

Our leaders don’t think we deserve anything better. I have no doubts that most of these professional politicians will never change their ways. They are too set in their selfishness and see nothing wrong with our squalid existence. There is obviously no respite anywhere we turn. The motorways are death traps. Writing about power and energy crisis in Nigeria is to sound like a damaged compact disc.  Yet our leaders insist we must continue along the same path of destruction. They often forget that you can only get the same results when you repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I hosted some members of the National Association of Women Journalists at my Accra home two nights ago, and they asked why we moved our production to Ghana, and many other multinational companies are moving away in droves. I explained that our main reason was the intractable and accursed problems of electricity.

No one has been able to explain why we cannot have constant electricity or a well-organised rotation of power supply like PDP and their zoning systems. If we can rotate juicy appointments, we should be able to rotate our misery. The decision to move part of our operation was painful. Now we have to collate our stories and pictures in Lagos, send the materials to our production centre in Accra, send the planned pages to our printers in London, send the magazine to our freight companies for distribution in Europe, America and Africa, and tackle the tough battle of clearing goods at our airports, and so on. It is a tedious process that could have been avoided if our situation was much better at home. By the time you are through with all the merry-go-round, all the profit is gone. You have to be a compulsive gambler to remain in publishing. We have to device all manner of ingenious means to remain in publishing and our leaders have not helped matters in any way.

We’ve already wasted 50-long years in the wilderness of Nigerian politics. It is very obvious that nothing has changed, and nothing is likely to change unless you and I wake up from our narcoleptic state and take decisive steps.  The godfathers are not going to give up their status voluntarily. There are all kinds of landmines being laid along the path of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan who seems committed to putting a few things right in our polluted climes. The hawks are too determined to keep us in our grovelling state so that they can continue to pummel us. It is not true that there are no capable youths to lead Nigeria in this 21st century but our elders are too selfish to allow them to function. They’ll rather maintain their analogue tradition in a digital age. And they are not in a hurry to partake in the miracles happening all over the world. They are happy to wallow in our daily routine of sadness and joy.

There is no point wasting our sleep over those who have decided that they’ll take Nigeria along with them to heaven. Our duty is to continue to work for the restoration of our dignity and pride as a nation. I’m encouraged by the new age awareness made possible by technology. Those who wish to scorn the advancement of science in the world today are welcome. Those who believe Nigeria will remain in this stagnant cesspool forever are wishful thinkers.

The tidal wave of change will blow them away sooner than they can ever imagine. The youths of Nigeria have been sufficiently angered.  I’m constantly on the move and we meet ourselves regularly. The level of awareness has increased monumentally. We are also beginning to experience the dividends of education. The wings of education are spreading powerfully like the eagle all over the country. The internet, as slow as it is in most places, has made it possible to reach millions of people at the touch of a button. I receive hundreds of mails from the remotest parts of Nigeria daily. I have not been able to catch up with the mails in my box. The more I try, the harder it becomes. I have never seen the type of anger being expressed on the net in the last week since the youths of Nigeria were described as never-do-wells.

I have tried to console our friends that we have nothing to worry about because facts are too sacred. We have sufficient proofs that we are not a useless and irresponsible generation. I have met Nigerians on virtually all the continents and have incontrovertible evidence that we are a great people with a glorious heritage. In all professions and careers, we are highly rated and respected.  Our foreign hosts often ask how come we have so many brilliant Nigerians everywhere but are saddled with incompetent and reckless leaders. One American psychiatrist even recommended some books to me recently that she thought might help me unravel the mysterious afflictions of our leaders. For example, how do you explain the desperation of septuagenarians wanting to return to power decades after leaving power? What makes it impossible for them to sponsor one of the great gentlemen close to them?

I know that General Ibrahim Babangida for example has a lot of young and brilliant friends. I have told a few of them countless times that the former President would be well applauded if he helps us to find and support new and credible people into positions of power. That is what he should do. I’m personally embarrassed on his behalf for the barrage of attacks he’s receiving. I just can’t comprehend why he went out to re-open old wounds. I pleaded with our mutual friends long before the public declaration that they should not allow a “whole” Babangida to be demystified by walking naked in the market place. Some of us had forgiven Babangida but can never forget the terminal mistakes he made or allow him to come back to take us on a fruitless ride again. Many of us will thank him profusely if he can do us the favour of sparing us the agony of his latest phantasmagoria. Contrary to what many of his friends are telling him, I’m writing out of a genuine belief that he tried his best but his best was not able to lead us anywhere. I doff my hat to his doggedness as he continues to explore every opportunity to return to power like General Olusegun Matthew Aremu Okikiolakan. Let me reveal the formula that made it possible for Obasanjo to return to power. Obasanjo spent quality time in jail and came back like most returnees as a philosopher king. Nigerians, in their collective wisdom or stupidity, expected Obasanjo to have learnt useful lessons in prison. Is Babangida ready for that type of expensive sacrifice in the name of wanting to return to power? Of course, no condition is permanent.  

2010 NFL Undrafted Free Agents Updated

This is an unofficial list.

The 2010 NFL Undrafted Free Agents list will be updated early and often.

New England Patriots
Dane Fletcher, DE, Montana State
Bryan Anderson, WR, CMU
Sergio Brown, S, Notre Dame
Kyle Love, DL, Mississippi State
Ross Ventrone, S, Villanova ???

Scott Long, WR, Louisville
LeGarrett Blount, RB, Oregon
Chris Maragos, S, UW
Patrick Stoudamire, DB, W. Illinois
Jared Perry, WR, Missouri
Jarrett Brown, QB, WVU
Leroy Vann, KR, FAMU

Juice Williams, QB, Illinois (Tryout)
Greg Mathews, WR, Michigan
Quentin Scott, S, UNI
Freddie Barnes, WR, Bowling Green
Desi Cullen, P, UConn (Tryout)
Mike Mayberry, LB, Indiana
Cornelius Brown, CB, UTEP
Brandon Minor, RB, Michigan
Lawrence Wilson, DE, OSU
Levi Horn, OT, Montana
Antonio Robinson, WR, Nicholls State
Barry Turner, DE, Nebraska

Mike Windt, LS, Cinci
Jeff Cottam, TE, Tennessee
Mikell Simpson, RB, Virginia
Bryan Evans, S, Georgia
Cordera Eason, FB, Ole Miss

John Destin, CB, Tulsa
Naaman Roosevelt, WR, Buffalo
Donald Jones, WR, Youngstown St.
Joique Bell, RB, Wayne State
Stephan Virgil, CB, Virginia Tech
Brett Johnson, S, Cal
Antonio Coleman, DE/OLB, Auburn
David Nelson, WR, Florida
Dominique Harris, S, Temple
Sean Allen, C/G, ECU

Nathan Overbay, TE, Eastern Washington
Jaron Baston, DT, Missouri
Michael Palmer, TE, Clemson
Chris Marinelli, OT, Stanford
Marcellus Bowman, S, Boston College
Riar Geer TE Colorado
Chris Brown, RB, Oklahoma
Michael Shumard, OG, Texas A&M
Alric Arnett, WR, West Virginia
Cassius Vaughn, CB, Ole Miss
Kevin Alexander, OLB, Clemson

Auston English, DE, Oklahoma
Casey Bender, OT, SDSU
Jon Dempsey, LB, Louisville
Troy Wagner, TE, Indiana
Joel Reinders, OL, Waterloo

Brandon Gillbeaux, DE, Delaware
Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss
Rico McCoy, LB, Tennessee
Sergio Render, OG, Virginia Tech
Ryan Reeves, LB, Wayne State
Preston Parker, WR, North Alabama
Jared Zwilling, C, Purdue
Derek Hardman, OT, Eastern Kentucky

Max Hall, QB, BYU ???
Alfonso Smith, RB, Kentucky
Max Komar, WR, Idaho
Stephen Williams, WR, Toledo
Casey Knips, OT, SDSU
AJ Jefferson, CB, Fresno State
Devin Tyler, OT, Temple

Jordyn Jackson, RB/WR, Eastern Oregon
Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane
Nic Richmond, OT, TCU
Brandon Lang, OLB, Troy
Marcel Thompson, WR, Lindenwood
Richie Brockel, TE, Boise State
Jason Lamb, DE, Baylor
Justin Jeffries, OT, Kentucky
Jeff Hansen, OL, Montana State
Seyi Ajirotutu, WR, Fresno State

Jeremy Horne, WR, UMass
Andrew Lewis, OL, Oklahoma State
Austin Signor, K, Eastern Illinois
Rich Gunnell, WR, Boston College
Mike Johnson, LB, North Alabama

Brett Swenson K, Michigan State
Brandon James, KR, Florida
Blair White, WR, Michigan State
Thad Turner, CB, Ohio
Javarris James, RB, Miami
Tim Hiller, QB, Western Michigan
Mike Newton, S, Buffalo
Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cinci

Matt Nichols, QB, Eastern Washington
Phil Costa, C, Maryland
Barry Church, S, Toledo
Chris Gronkowski, FB, Arizona
Terrell Hudgins, WR, Elon
Rashaun Greer, WR, Colorado State
Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State

Travis Ivey, DT, Maryland
AJ Wallace, CB, Penn State
Ross Weaver, DB, Michigan State
Vince Oghobaase, DT, Duke
Roberto Wallace, WR, SDSU
Jonathan Amaya, DB, Nevada
Marlon Moore, WR, Fresno State

Blue Cooper, WR, Tenn-Chattanooga
Charles Alexander, DT, LSU
Keith Flemming, RB, West Texas A&M
Kevin Jurovich, WR, San Jose State
Chris Zardas, FB, Umass
Pat Simonds, WR, Colgate
Joey Elliott, QB, Purdue

Colin Peek, TE, Alabama
Bear Woods, LB, Troy.
Rafael Bush, DB, Sc. State.
Ryan Wolfe, WR, UNLV
Gabriel Derricks, CB/S, San Diego

Dominic Randolph, QB, Holy Cross
Ayanga Okpokowuruk, DE, Duke
Nate Collins, DL, Virginia
Duke Calhoun, WR, Memphis
Jim Cordle, OL, Ohio State
Leon Wright, CB, Duke

Chad Kackert, RB, New Hampshire
Robert Malone, P, Fresno State
Kommonya Quaye, DL, South Dakota
Aaron Morgan, DE, ULM
Roren Thomas, WR, Lindenwood
Kyle Bosworth, LB, UCLA
Chris Hawkins, CB, LSU
Kevin Haslam, OT, Rutgers
Chris McGaha, WR, Arizona State
Jason Harmon, TE, FAU
Trevor Harris, QB, Edinboro
Mike Caussin, TE, JMU
Terrell Whitehead, S, Norfolk St.

Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
Charlie Tanner, OG, Texas
Kevin Basped, DE, Nevada
Jeff Cumberland, TE, Illinois

Ryan Stamper, LB, Florida
Aaron Berry, CB, Pitt
Mike Moore, WR, Georgia
Rob Calloway, DT, Saginaw
Matt Clapp, FB, Oklahoma

Quinn Porter, RB, Stillman
Frank Zombo, DE, CMU
Sam Shields, CB, Miami
John Russell, DL, Wake Forest
Tim Knicky, DE, Stephen F. Austin
Jeff Moturi, WR, UTEP
Chris Campbell, OT, Eastern Illinois
E.J. Morton-Green, WR, Morgan State (Tryout)
Shawn Gore, WR, Bishop
Alex Joseph, LB, Temple
Noah Shepard, QB, SDSU
Robert Vaughn, S, UConn
Chastin West, WR, Fresno State

Kurtis Gregory, OG, Missouri
Matt O'Hanlon, S, Nebraska
Mark Ortmann, OT, Michigan
Andre Neblett, DT, Temple

Trent Guy, WR, Louisville
Manase Tonga, FB, BYU
Brashton Satele, LB, Hawaii
Alex Daniels, DE, Cinci
Alex Parsons, RG, USC
Andre Anderson, RB, Tulane

Keith Toston, RB, Oklahoma State
Thaddas Lewis, QB, Duke
Brandon McRae, WR, Mississippi State
Simoni Lawrence, LB, Minnesota
Alex Henderson, RB, Northern Arizona
DeMaundray Woolridge, RB, Idaho
Jeromy Jones, S, Idaho
Rod Owens, WR Florida State
Adrian Davis, DE, Arkansas
Jamie McCoy, TE, Texas A&M

Albert McClellan, DE, Marshall
Ashton Hall, S, Marshall
Curtis Steele, RB, Memphis
Mike McLaughlin, LB, Boston College
Morgan Cox, S, Tennessee
Prince Miller, CB, Georgia
Josh Morris, DB, Weber St.

Logan Paulsen, TE, UCLA

Clint Gresham, LS, TCU
Harry Coleman, S, LSU
Jason Beauchamp, LB, UNLV
Brandon Carter, OL/OG, Texas Tech
Junior Galette, DE, Stillman
Ekom Udofia, DT, Stanford
Marcell Young, CB, Jacksonville St.

Rob Rose, DT, Ohio State
Quintin Hancock, WR, Tennessee
Josh Pinkard, DB, USC
DeMarcus Granger, DT, Oklahoma
Jeff Byer, OG, USC
Kyle Burkhart, OT, Southern Miss
Will Harris, FS, USC
Joe Pawelek, ILB, Baylor
Jacob Phillips, OT, Belhaven
James Brindley, FS, Utah State
Marcus Brown, CB, Arkansas State
Reggie Carter, OLB, UCLA
Patrick Devenny, TE, Colorado
Kevin Dixon, ILB, Troy
Adrian Martinez, C, Colorado State

Damon Cromartie-Smith, S, UTEP
AJ Trump, OT, Miami
Cordarrow Thompson, DE, Virginia Tech
Andre Dixon, RB, UConn
Daryll Clark QB, Penn State

Aaron Webster, S, Cinci
Isiaih Greenhouse, FB, NW St.
Jack Corcoran, FB, Rutgers
Kristian Matte, OL, Concordia
Tyler Sheehan, QB, Bowling Green
Adam Ulatoski, OL, Texas
Steve Maneri, OT/TE, Temple

Stafon Johnson, RB, USC
Gerald Harris, TE, Ole Miss
Kevin Matthews, OL, TAMU
Nick Howell, OL, USC

Ryan Perriloux, QB, JSU ???
RJ Archer, QB, William and Mary
Marlon Winn, OT, Texas Tech
Terrell Skinner, S, Maryland
Kelton Tindal, WR, Newberry
Tommy Hernandez, C, UC-Davis
Ray Small, WR, Ohio State
Aaron Rhea, WR, Stephen F. Austin
Angelo Williams, CB, Ferris State
Matt Hanson, OT, Midwestern State

Retirements/Grad School:
Scott Sicko, TE, UNH


Ghana Government Buy Over 1,300 Tickets For Fans to attend the 2010 World Cup.

  • About 450 football lovers could be air-lifted free to South Africa.

By K.N.S Mensah,

Approximately 1,346 tickets have been secured by the Ghanaian government for selected supporters’ groups, government officials and other institutions to enable the to attend the 2010 World Cup.

The tickets are for Ghana’s three preliminary round matches at the summer showpiece in South Africa.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports invested close to $120,000 to buy the tickets, as four supporters unions failed to raise the needed funds to acquire match tickets. According to Graphic Sports, the Millennium Supporters' Union was the only group that managed to purchase 633 tickets for the Ghana fixtures.

The government is looking for much greater funding to finance the trip to South Africa for nearly 450 Ghanaian football enthusiasts.


Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque Concerned About Physical Condition Of His Players for World Cup 2010.

Vicente Del Bosque

By Anthony Wright

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has expressed his concern over the fitness of the players he is intending to select in his World Cup squad, but is hoping that they will recover from their various injuries in time.

"We are thinking about the national team day and night," he told AS.

"We will try to take the best [to South Africa]. We know that we're going through a difficult time because competitions are nearing their climax. It's a very intense season and some players are a bit drained.

"I hope that when we submit the list, everyone is in good condition. [Fernando] Torres recently had an operation and he will be able to go in peak condition if he is willing to prepare himself."

Del Bosque also touched on the title race between Barcelona and Real Madrid as he stated "the one who deserves it most" will emerge victorious.

"In other seasons, one of them would already have become champion, but this time we must wait another five games to find out," he added.


Sunderland sent Hull packing - Hull 0-1 Sunderland

  • Darren Bent Condemns Tigers To Relegation

By Michael Landon

Hull's battle for Premier League survival is over after they were defeated 1-0 by Sunderland at the KC Stadium in a result that condemns them to relegation from the Top Flight.

Darren Bent's goal in the first half would prove to be the heart-breaker for the Tigers in a match where Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton were sent off.

A more offensive starting line-up from Hull saw them opt for two up-front with Altidore and Caleb Folan. Anthony Gardner and Bernard Mendy were restored after injury while Geovanni and Nick Barmby also started.

Steve Bruce made one change from last weekend's victory over Burnley, with Matt Kilgallon replacing John Mensah.

An eventful opening half started where Hull could have been two goals down within the first three minutes.

The first chance for the visitors arrived after some slack defending allowed Steed Malbranque to charge down the left flank and square the ball across the face of goal.  Henderson charged onto the ball with the intention of burying it but his effort was blocked by Gardner and Hull were let off the hook.

They didn't heed the warning though and a minute later a similar move saw another dangerous ball played into the center of the box from the right and this time Malbranque blasted what looked like a gilt-edged chance over the bar.

Hull were all over the place at the back and a goal was coming. No surprises then that it was the Tigers who would finally pay for such a poor start to the game.

On the seventh minute Steve Bruce's side opened up the opposing defense again by a cross into the six-yard box and this time there was to be no mistake in front of goal by the visitors. Kenwyne Jones headed the ball to the back post where Darren Bent applied the finish with his outstretched boot.

UFC Live: WEC Jose Aldo vs Urijah Faber

Tonight we have UFC live with Aldo vs Faber.If you want to watch UFC live -  WEC Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber keep an eye on us,we will post a streaming link.This coming Saturday, the second sends the MMA organization under the banner Zuffas to step out of the shadows of its big brother, the UFC,: World Extreme Cagefighting debut on the American Pay-Per-View Market. Since the consortium incorporated at the Fertitta brothers in 2006, the WEC and made it a playground for lighter weight, produced one incredibly entertaining fights like an assembly line. The speed and inexhaustible stamina of the smaller guys are guarantors for action-packed fights. Fights like Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda (WEC 34) or vs. Ben Henderson. Donald Cerrone (WEC 43) are already classics of the sport. Now Zuffa writes a new chapter in the history of the WEC by trying the PPV market to conquer.

The main fight of the event denied WEC Urijah Faber posterboy and the seemingly unstoppable WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Aldo has secured the gold in last November, when he defeated former champion Mike Brown surprisingly in the second round via TKO. Those Mike Brown, who declined Uriah Faber At the track, when no one believed that the golden boy from California was beat. Since then, it was mixed for Faber. After a victory against the aging Jens Pulver he lost his rematch against Mike Brown also broke his hand during the struggle. After another victory, against Raphael Assuncao, this is now the second chance for Faber to take back his belt. Not an easy task against a man like Aldo. The Brazilian is undefeated in nine fights. Six of those victories he recorded since his arrival in the WEC, none of which went to make ends meet. Aldo was hungry – he is there with a belt as well?

In the second main fight of the evening, a belt is at stake: the lightweight title of the WEC is in the continuation of the classic vs Henderson. Cerrone fought. Henderson is an outstanding wrestler and Grappler, a powerful Standkämpfer Cerrone – the classic MMA match also. The first meeting of the two, in October 2009, Henderson was on points to decide for themselves. Both Fighter will give nothing in this rematch. Even so, because the lightweight class in the WEC will soon be swallowed by the UFC. Logical that you want to send two of the top fighters of the division a clear message to their future competitors.

Another treat is the struggle between the above-mentioned former Featherweight Champion Mike Brown and the “The Ultimate Fighter” series known Manvel “Manny Gamburyan. Gamburyan was in the final of the fifth season of the reality show and won each of his two previously WEC Fights. His opponent, Mike Brown, a talented wrestler and dangerous boxer like his title in November against Jose Aldo indeed have lost, but is nevertheless one of the best feather weight of the world and has the gold not lost sight of.

These three Kracher ought to be sufficient to make the PPV debut of the WEC to a successful, even if the lighter weight classes in the U.S. mainstream has not yet arrived so right. The other fights of the evening can be found in the following survey:

WEC 48 – vs Aldo. Faber
24th April 2010

Arco Arena in Sacramento, California, USA
Jose Aldo vs. Urijah Faber
Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone
Mike Thomas Brown vs. Manny Gamburyan
Anthony Njokuani vs. Shane Roller
Scott Jorgensen vs. Antonio Banuelos
Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung
Anthony Pettis vs. Alex Karalexis
Brad Pickett vs. Demetrious Johnson
Chad Mendes vs. Anthony Morrison
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Rani Yahya
Brandon Visher vs. Tyler Toner

Tim Toone is Mr. Irrelevant doesn’t mean he will be irrelevant

Tim Toone


Three days after Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh held up a No. 1 Lions jersey as the second overall pick in the NFL draft, someone held up another Lions jersey on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

On this one, duct tape covered the No. 1 in the shape of an “I,” honoring Mr. Irrelevant, the 255th and final pick in the NFL draft, Weber State wide receiver Tim Toone.

Paul Salata made the announcement as he traditionally does. He is the founder of Irrelevant Week, an annual five-day bash in Newport Beach, Calif., for the last man drafted. Why? To do something nice for no reason at all.

“I think it’ll be fun,” Toone said. “Just having fun with the whole situation will be a great opportunity.”

But just because Toone is Mr. Irrelevant doesn’t mean he will be irrelevant. The Lions made Alabama cornerback Ramzee Robinson the last pick (255th overall) in 2007, and after the parade and banquet and other events in Newport, he played 19 games for them. He has gone on to play for the Eagles and Browns.

Coach Jim Schwartz thinks Toone could be as popular as the colorful, intense linebacker the Lions picked in the seventh round (235th overall) last year.

“Zack Follett’s going to have some competition for new favorite player, new cult hero in Detroit,” Schwartz said, pointing out Toone not only had a lot of big numbers and honors from college, but was a “white guy with dreadlocks.”

“I hope the fans will see the same thing that we saw in him,” Schwartz said.

Toone, 5-feet-10, 175 185 pounds, is 25 years old, having served a two-year Mormon mission in West Africa. He’s speedy. He had 95- and 90-yard punt returns for touchdowns in college.

“A lot of people tell me I’m like Wes Welker,” Toone said. “Having him in the league has helped me out a lot because he’s not the biggest guy, but he’s a hard worker, he runs great routes, he’s quick. That’s why people compare me to him, because I work hard. I try to find open holes and do everything I can to help the team win.”

Related Posts:

Tim Toone Becomes Mr. Irrelevant 2010; Detroit Lions makes Tim Toone Mr. Irrelevant 2010

Tim Toone

  •  Detroit Lions makes Tim Toone Mr. Irrelevant 2010

With the 255th and final pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected wide receiver Tim Toone of Weber State, making him the 2010 Mr. Irrelevant.

Toone said prior to the draft that he wasn't expecting to be selected.

"I'm just expecting to sign somewhere as a free agent," Toone said last week. "Anything better than that is a bonus. I know a team's going to take a chance and I'm going to work hard and make their team."

Toone will need to be a contributor on special teams to make the Lions' roster, and the highlight of his college career was a 90-yard punt return against Northern Arizona.

As Mr. Irrelevant, he will preside over Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach, California, and be awarded the Lowsman Trophy. The pick was announced by Paul Salata, the 83-year-old former NFL player who first came up with the Mr. Irrelevant idea.

Donovan Warren goes unpicked in the three-day NFL Draft 2010

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren’s decision to turn pro a year early was a costly one.

Warren was not selected in the three-day NFL draft, which finished with Rounds 4-7 Saturday. He led Michigan with four interceptions as a junior last year and said when he left school in December he expected to be a top-three-round pick.
Warren did not return a phone call seeking comment Saturday, but wrote midway through the seventh round on Twitter, “Damn, From the bottom to the top on my mama”.

After the draft, he Tweeted that he signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent.

Donovan Jamelle Warren (born January 31, 1989) is an American football cornerback for the New York Jets. He attended the University of Michigan until his junior year. He is considered one of the top cornerback prospects of his class.

A native of Long Beach, California, Warren attended famed Polytechnic High School, where he tallied 114 tackles, 15 pass breakups, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries during his prep career. Considered a five-star recruit by, Warren ranked third among cornerback prospects in the nation.

As a true freshman at Michigan, Warren played in all 13 season games while starting 11 of them. He recorded 52 tackles, 1.5 tackle for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, one interception and six pass breakups. He was named Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News and also made TSN's and College Football News′ Freshman All-American second team.

As a junior, he was selected as to the 2009 All-Big Ten conference team by the media


Kemi Adegoke and Chuka Umunna: British Parliamentary Candidates

Two British Nigerians are contesting in the British general elections for May 6, 2010. Although Kemi Adegoke and Chuka Umunna are contesting on different political parties and represent different constituencies, they both share some things together. They are British Nigerians, Black British politicians and lawyers. They represent a young generation of brilliant and talented British citizens with African heritage.
Kemi Adegoke

Kemi Adegoke was born in Wimbledon in 1980 by Nigerian Parents. She moved back to United Kingdom in 1996 after schooling in Nigeria.

In 2003, Kemi obtained an Engineering Degree from the University of Sussex. She completed a degree in Law at the University of London (Birkbeck College) in 2009.  She is also a Chartered Member of the British Computer Society and currently works as a systems analyst at the RBS group. 

Kemi Adegoke will be representing the Conservative party as the party’s parliamentary candidate. Kemi Adegoke would be contesting against Tessa Jowell in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency at the next election.

Kemi is active in the local community as a school governor at St. Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham and at Jubilee Primary school in Tulse Hill.   She takes a keen interest in housing, education and youth issues in South London and apart from her activities as a school governor, is also a board member of Charlton Triangle Housing Association.   In her spare time she also teaches chess to pupils at the Bishop Challoner School For Girls in Tower Hamlets.

In 2006 and 2007, Kemi worked on the Globalisation and Global Poverty Policy group set up by David Cameron.  She was the project leader covering corruption and governance.

In a recent interview with Checkout magazine, Kemi said “she got her political inspiration from the former British First Female Prime Minister and Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher.” Margaret Thatcher was a huge political figure who will go down in the world’s political history as the most pragmatic female politician ever produced by British politics.

To know more about Kemi Adegoke and her political manifesto, click here to visit her website.

Chuka Umunna
Chuka Umunna was born in October, 1978. He is a British Nigerian. He is a political activist and commentator, and an employment lawyer. In March 2008, he was chosen by local Labour Party members as the party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Streatham constituency.

Umunna is the grandson of High Court Judge Helenus Milmo and nephew of leading libel lawyer Patrick Milmo

Chuka Umunna is a brilliant and articulate employment lawyer who continues to enjoy publicity in the British media, as he is often mentioned as a likely replica of an Obama political figure in the UK. The vibrant youthful politician, Chuka, has recently expressed his deep concern alongside Britain’s Foreign Minister, David Milliband on the political situation in Nigeria, especially on issues around the sickness of Nigeria’s President, Umaru Yar’adua, which is shrouded in secrecy. Chuka has reeled out his alluring manifestoes to the electorate in Streatham and its constituency areas, which he has emphasized to be his priorities if elected into the parliament.

He graduated with a 2:1 degree in English and French law from the University of Manchester, he started his legal career as a solicitor at the international law firm, Herbert Smith, in the City of London where Umunna mostly acted for large employers. In 2006, he moved to the central London law firm, Rochman Landau, where he is a representative for employee rights. As an employment lawyer, Umunna often speaks and writes on employment issues.

I wish both of them the best in their political career.

Nigeria's Acting President Campaign Posters Floors Abuja F.C.T

Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan

ABUJA (AFP) - Campaign posters endorsing Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2011 presidential election have gone up at strategic points in the capital city Abuja, residents said on Saturday.

Jonathan, who was voted into office by parliament in February after President Umaru Yar'Adua left the country to be treated for a heart ailment, is yet to make known his plan for next year's polls.

"Support a visionary in 2011" and "Goodluck is the positive hope for Nigeria," are the inscriptions on the posters, sponsored by an unknown group calling itself the "Northern Youth Movement for Positive Change".

Officials in Jonathan's office said that they were not aware of the posters, seen by an AFP reporter.

Jonathan was Yar'Adua's deputy from May 2007 until he took power.

A former governor of southern Bayelsa State, he is the first person originating from the oil-rich Niger Delta to have risen to the position of Nigerian president.

However his ruling Peoples Democratic Party said recently that the party's flagbearer for the 2011 poll will be a northerner.

Related Posts:

Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans in the Movie - The Losers

Directed by Sylvain White
Produced by Joel Silver, Akiva Goldsman, and Kerry Foster
Written by Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt, Andy Diggle (Comic book)
Starring:  Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short,Óscar Jaenada and Jason Patric
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography: Scott Kevan
Editing by David Checel
Studio Dark :Castle Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) April 23, 2010 (2010-04-23)
Running time: 98 min.
Country : United States
Language : English

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Franklin Clay
Idris Elba as William Roque
Zoe Saldana as Aisha al-Fadhil
Chris Evans as Jake Jensen
Columbus Short as Linwood "Pooch" Porteous
Óscar Jaenada as Carlos "Cougar" Alvarez
Jason Patric as Max

The Losers  - Official Trailer 
Site Meter