Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Editorial: chidi opara reports; Three Years After

Today, 9th December, 2010 is our third year anniversary. We published our first news report on the 9th of December, 2007.

The challenges of online news publishing in a country like Nigeria was and still remain enormous.

We started publishing when news reporters were maimed and killed almost on daily basis on the streets of major cities of Nigeria, with law enforcement agencies watching helplessly.

It was also an era when the authorities viewed online news reporters as a new set of enemies to be dealt with , with the full dose of their powers.

It was also a period of time when the Oil and Gas war in the Niger Delta region was at its peak with security forces hoarding information like essential commodities in war time and turning round to accuse news reporters of  giving prominence to the militants, who incidentally, were more liberal with information.

These are however not the only major problems. Another major problem was and still is, the unfriendly attitude of news reporters who are older on the scene, who for some strange reasons were and are still devising ways to rubbish the credibility of new publications that did not emanate from their friends. This is not to over look the unwillingness of individuals and groups who flaunt progressive credentials to offer unconditional financial assistance to new publications as a major problem.

It has not been all tales of woes. There were encouraging moments like when readers make out time to objectively criticize or appreciate us through e-mails, telephone calls and comments.

While we look forward to a brighter future, we will not fail to use this opportunity to thank all those who in one way or the other, especially our numerous contacts, assisted us in this self imposed task of empowering the people with credible news information.

To all chidi opara reports' network members, we can only say thank you for now. Some day, when the atmosphere is conducive, your identities and the extent of your sacrifices would be made known to the world.

News Report: Extradition Process For WikiLeaks' Founder Begins

Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in custody in Britain after being arrested by British police under a European Arrest Warrant issued by Sweden over allegations of sex crimes.

Here are details of the extradition process he faces:

Assange made an initial appearance in London's City of Westminster court Tuesday over the allegations made by two Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers. He was remanded in custody although his lawyers can appeal against the refusal to grant him bail.

He is due back at the same court for an extradition hearing on December 14. If the District Judge is satisfied that Assange is wanted for the crimes in question, that extradition would not breach his human rights and there are no other legal bars, then the court will order him to be extradited.

If there is no appeal, he must be extradited within 10 days.

However, Assange can appeal against the decision but must do so within seven days. The appeal process at London's High Court must commence within 40 days, although the court can extend this period in the "interests of justice."

Should the High Court uphold the extradition decision, a further appeal can be made to Britain's Supreme Court but this can only be done on a point of law considered to be of general public interest. The Supreme Court ruling is the end of the process.
From: Reuters

News Report: Governor Of Ondo State May Dump Labour Party For Action Congress Party

Olusegun Mimiko
The governor of Ondo state of Nigeria, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko may dump his political party, the Labour Party(LP) on whose platform he became governor for the Action Congress Of Nigeria(ACN) in the forthcoming 2011 gubernatorial election, a chidi opara reports contact in Akure, Ondo state capital city have hinted.

Information at our disposal has it that Dr. Mimiko have already commenced negotiations with ACN national leadership to run for re-election on its platform or be adopted by the party next year.

The Ondo state governor's man in ACN is reported to be the newly installed governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

The negotiations, chidi opara reports learnt is anchored on two platforms, the first is that ACN should give Dr. Mimiko automatic governorship candidature or  decline to field a candidate in Ondo and ask its supporters to vote for the governor. ACN national leadership is reportedly in favour of the governor joining the party, "but would not rule out adopting Mimiko while still in Labour party".

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who was a Minister and member of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), decamped to LP to contest the 2007 governorship election. He was denied victory, but was like the ACN governors of Edo, Ekiti and Osun states, installed by the Court Of Appeal, after a protracted legal battle.

The Ondo state governor on coming to office, found ideological soul mates in ACN. He is always seen in the company of ACN governors. In the words of an ACN insider in Lagos state, "Mimiko is our man".