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Nigerian recounts ordeal in hands of Charles Taylor’s army- And to think that this same country housed him!!! Sad!

Charles Taylor at his court sentencing on Wednesday May 30, 2012

Just watched this video on Channels Television and feel so pained. Before his sentencing to 50 years in prison custody, Chrles Taylor spent a few years in Nigeria, Calabar precisely.

After watching this video I feel so pained that he was housed and given a sense of freedom in a country whose innocent citizens he killed during the war in Sieria Leone in 1999.

See for yourself!

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The Iju-Ishaga Dana air crash site on Monday after the ill-fated crash that claimed over 163

(AFP)-Nigerian rescuers recovered burnt human remains as investigators probed for clues on Monday after a plane slammed into a Lagosneighbourhood, with all 153 on board killed and more feared dead on the ground.

Police fired tear gas at a surging crowd seeking to get a look at thecrash site at one point on Monday morning, while at other spots around the site people desperately sought access to the wreckage to locate missing relatives.

They were denied access, with rescue workers combing the scene of the crash — the world’s worst air disaster so far this year — saying the bodies were unrecognisable.

“I just want to be sure of how he died,” one man told rescue workers of his brother.

Wreckage still smouldered at the grisly site near the airport in one of Africa‘s largest cities as two cranes cleared away debris and a few thousand onlookers gathered.

Local media reported that the crash of the Dana Air Boeing MD83 was Nigeria’s worst since 1992, when a military C-130 went down after takeoff in Lagos, killing all 200 on board.

There have been a number of other crashes with more than 100 victims over the past decade in Nigeria but the most recent was in 2005.

Rescue workers had pulled at least 62 bodies from the wreckage by Monday morning, a rescue official said.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who declared three days of national mourning, was due to visit the crash site Monday, a spokesman said.

At least one of the plane’s two cockpit recorders had been recovered, officials said. The aviation minister said the flight had declared an emergency 11 nautical miles from the airport but the cause of the crash remained unclear.

The flight disappeared from radar one minute after having declared the emergency at 3:43 pm local time (1443 GMT), a statement from the minister said.

An aviation source said the pilot had told the tower that he was experiencing problems with the plane, but further details were not yet clear.

The plane, which was flying to Lagos from the capital Abuja, crashed near the airport, damaging buildings and setting off an inferno in the poor and densely populated neighbourhood located in the city’s northern outskirts.

Chaos broke out after the crash, with rescue workers facing large crowds and aggressive soldiers while trying to access smoldering wreckage in the hunt for survivors.

While tear gas was fired at one point on Monday morning, the scene was generally much more calm, with a heavy security deployment in place.

Nigeria has a spotty aviation record, although Dana had been considered to be a relatively safe and reasonably efficient domestic airline since it began operating in 2008.

A spokesman for Nigeria’s Accident Investigations Bureau said all 153 people on board the plane were considered dead. The number of those killed on the ground was unclear.

A spokesman for the airline said the plane was carrying 147 passengers and six crew. China said six of its nationals were on the plane.

In the aftermath of the crash, thick smoke rose from the area and flames could be seen shooting from a two-storey building.

Thousands of onlookers had partially blocked access to the crash site on Sunday, prompting soldiers to try to clear out the area, using rubber whips and their fists. One even threw a wooden plank at those crowded around.

The area plunged into all-out pandemonium when a helicopter tried to land amid the crowd, kicking up clouds of ash and light debris that again scattered people in various directions.

Some residents said it appeared that the plane had nosedived into the neighbourhood while others described it as swaying back and forth before crashing.

“It was waving, waving, waving,” Yusuf Babatunde, 26, said at the scene. “The pilot was struggling to control it. It crashed — it just started burning.”

An official with the National Emergency Management Agency said the plane had crashed into two buildings, a church and the two-storey residential structure.

At least three people had been transported for treatment with relatively minor wounds, he said, in addition to the bodies pulled out of the wreckage.

The president’s office said in a statement that Jonathan had “directed that the Nigerian flag be flown at half-mast for the three days of national mourning.

“Meanwhile, the president has ordered the fullest possible investigation into the crash,” it added.

Lagos, the largest city in Africa’s most populous nation, is home to an estimated 15 million people.

The accident followed another plane crash Saturday in the capital of nearby Ghana, when a cargo plane overshot a runway and hit a passenger bus, killing at least 10 people.

The Allied Air cargo plane had departed from Lagos and was to land in Accra.

2005-2006 plane crash report shows negligence in Nigeria’s Aviation sector

English: An Arik Air's Boeing 737 on take off ...

(AP) – Documents on three deadly jetliner crashes in Nigeria – including one in which a plane filled with children going home for Christmas burst into flames – offer a harrowing look at the loosely enforced safety regulations and oversight in Nigeria.

The records obtained by The Associated Press show that the captain of another Nigerian flight that crashed had gone back to work as a pilot despite being shot in the head years before. And in another case, a pilots’ manual included blank pages instead of key safety information.

Nigeria’s government long has declined to release formal records surrounding three fatal crashes in 2005-2006 including the one that killed scores of children.

While none of the airlines involved in the three crashes still fly in Nigeria, the safety concerns come after the West African nation gained a coveted U.S. safety status last year that allows its domestic carriers to fly directly to America.

The AP requested the documents about the crashes through a Freedom of Information Act request from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The U.S. became involved in those inquiries because the planes were manufactured by U.S. companies and because Nigeria requested the help of American investigators.

Though officials now say air travel is much safer, the documents add to worries about flights in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people where graft and incompetence often dominate government and where the demand for air travel has spiked over the last five years.

A report on the Oct. 22, 2005 crash of a Bellview Airlines flight that killed 177 people, including a U.S. citizen, showed the plane nose-dived into the ground at high speed. Investigators reportedly found only human remains that were “nothing bigger than toes and fingers,” the report read.

The plane’s captain, a 49-year-old former pilot, had been hired by Bellview after he had been working at a dairy for about 14 years, the summary read. The pilot also had been “shot in the head during a robbery attempt” during that break from flying, the report said.

“Interestingly, the Nigerian … medical records do not contain any medical or hospitalization history of this event,” the report read. The unnamed author of the report wrote that investigators would follow up on that detail, though no other documents released by the FAA refer to it again.

Harold Demuren, director general of Nigeria’s aviation authority, said officials have worked to ensure safety regulations were followed.

“Nigeria had a really woeful accident records and those were the results,” Demuren said. “However, you must add to it that things have improved tremendously since then.”

Nigerian officials have offered conflicting reasons for the three major crashes in 2005-2006, never releasing full reports on what happened.

At the Bellview crash site, deep in rural Nigeria, villagers looted the few pieces of what remained from the plane, likely including its “black box” recorders, according to an investigation summary.

The Dec. 10, 2005 crash of a Sosoliso Airlines flight full of school children from Abuja to Port Harcourt, which killed 107 people, appears to have involved both pilot error and weather.

The pilot was “reportedly racing a thunderstorm” nearing the airpo

rt, an FAA memo reads. The inclement weather also forced the pilot to make an instrument landing – meaning that visibility had been reduced to the point the pilot needed to rely on instruments to make his landing, the report read.

The plane crash landed on the grass alongside the runway, broke apart and caught fire.

The third major crash – an Oct. 29, 2006 Aviation Development Co. flight from Abuja to Sokoto – killed 96 people, including the top spiritual leader for the nation’s Muslims. The plane crashed 76 seconds after going airborne.

Just before the crash, alarms began sounding in the cockpit and the pilots’ incorrect actions stalled the plane, according to the report.

“Although bad weather may have created the situation, which the pilots reacted to, they reacted inappropriately,” the report reads.

Even more disturbing for investigators was the airline’s operation manual for pilots and cockpit staff, which “did not contain any information on adverse weather condition as that section was blank.”

The manual was duly approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority despite containing the blank section.

“The deficiency in the operation manual would probably make it difficult for pilots to take appropriate decision on when to go or not to go in (an) adverse weather condition,” the report said.

A 2009 study done for the World Bank concluded the aviation authority spends more than 90 percent of its budget on salaries and cannot fund training or equipment needs.

The authority “is still struggling to enforce quality, safety, and security standards on federal agencies operating Nigeria’s airport and airspace systems,” the study said.

Demuren, the authority’s director general, acknowledges that challenges remain for his agency as it has an aging work force and old equipment but he insists things have improved greatly.

In the five years since the ADC crash, Nigeria has not had another major commercial airplane crash, something the nation’s leaders point to with pride. In August 2010, the U.S. announced it had given Nigeria the FAA’s Category 1 status, its top safety rating that allows the nation’s domestic carriers to fly directly to the U.S.

The Nigerian government said it also now has full radar coverage of the entire nation. However, in a nation where the state-run electricity company is in tatters, state power and diesel generators sometimes both fail at airports, making radar screens go blank.

Yet air travel has never been so popular in Nigeria, whose growing middle and business class rely on air travel to avoid the country’s poorly maintained and dangerous roads. The country had nearly 14 million air passengers in 2009, according to a December study by Lagos-based Ciuci Consulting and Financial Derivatives Co.

The nation’s largest carrier, Arik Air Ltd., soon will have a fleet of 40 aircraft, the study said.

Yet Arik, like the nation’s seven other domestic carriers, faces increasing economic pressure from rising jet fuel costs in a nation that must import the majority of its fuel despite being Africa’s top oil producer, said Fola Onasanya, an analyst at Ciuci Consulting.

Major maintenance must be done outside the country, as Nigeria does not have the manpower or capability to do it locally, Onasanya said. Government regulations and taxes also add additional burden on companies in a nation where airlines have scrimped on maintenance in the past to cut costs.

“There’s always been that pressure,” Onasanya said.

Policeman dies while trying to defuse a Bomb


Gate to Emir's palace in Kano, Nigeria.

Ancient City of Kano

— Two bombs exploded in Nigeria‘s restive north on Tuesday, killing one policeman in the city of Kaduna, hit hard by a wave of attacks claimed by Boko Haram Islamists, police said.

Two bombs were planted near a military checkpoint outside the main mosque in Kaduna’s Unguwar Sarki area, police and residents said.

After the first bomb went off, soldiers at the checkpoint discovered a second explosive device and called the police anti-bomb squad, Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawan told AFP.

“We lost one of our men from the police bomb disposal unit. He died when an explosive device he was trying to defuse exploded, killing him on the spot,” Lawan said, adding that no other casualties were reported.

“As if he knew what was going to happen, the policeman ordered everyone to move back and as he leaned to take the bomb out of the bag, it exploded with a bang,” resident Abdullahi Isa said, recounting the officer’s death.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for coordinated blasts that rocked Kaduna on February 7.

One of those attacks was carried out by a suicide bomber who tried to drive a car packed with explosives into a military barracks. The military said the bomber was stopped before reaching his target and that he was the only one killed.

In December, a powerful explosion hit Kaduna, killing at least eight people, wounding many others and destroying a number of houses and shops, but the cause has never been clarified.

Boko Haram has claimed a series of both large- and small-scale attacks around Nigeria — primarily in the north — that have killed more than 200 people this year.

The group’s deadliest attack came on January 20, just north of Kaduna, in Nigeria’s second city of Kano, which killed at least 185 people.

Boko Haram has mostly targeted the police and other symbols of authority in Africa‘s most populous nation and top oil producer.

Pirates kill captain, chief engineer in ship attack

Suspected pirates assemble on the deck of a dh...

(Reuters) – Pirates shot dead the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday, an International Maritime Bureau (IMB) official said, the latest in a string of attacks on vessels off the coast of Africa‘s No. 1 oil producer.

“Armed pirates chased and fired upon a drifting bulk carrier. Vessel raised alarm and headed towards Lagos. All crew except the bridge team took shelter in the citadel. Due to the continuous firing the captain and the chief engineer were shot,” a notice on the IMB website said.

The attack. about 110 miles south of the commercial hub and main Nigerian port Lagos, comes two days after pirates on two boats in the same stretch of water fired shots at a different cargo vessel and chased it for 25 minutes before giving up, the website said.

Pirates off the coast of Nigeria tend to raid ships for cash and cargo rather than hijacking the crews for ransom like their counterparts off the coast of Somalia.

The frequency of attacks, while not as high as off the Somali coast or surrounding Indian Ocean, is on the rise.

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