Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places and Events


Dr Moniba deplores ideological differences

The Vice President of the Interim National Assembly (INA), Dr Harry F. Moniba, has said that ideological differences among United Nations (UN) member-states was a "spectre of danger" facing the world body.

The INA President said, "neighbouring countries with ideological differences no longer tend to behave towards each other with neighbourliness.

Dr Moniba was speaking in Monrovia at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion during programmes marking the 39th anniversary of the UN.

He said, "global ideological warfare has made UN member-states less responsive to the prevailing needs of mankind as evidenced by the ebbing tides of co- operation, understanding, and mutual respect for the sovereignty of one another." Speaking on the theme, "the UN needs a way out of its present dilemma", Dr Moniba said as we commemorate the 39th anniversary of the world body, it is worth noting that the present global mortality rate resulting from malnutrition and disease-related cases is "astronomical."

He pointed out that starvation threatens millions of lives anually, while the rate of illiteracy was still extremely high and millions of people continue to live below the poverty line.

Action Party submits cheque and documents

The Liberia Action Party (LAP), has presented a manager's cheque for $50,000 and property bonds for $125,400 to the Chairman of the Special Elections Commis- sion, Emmett Harmon, in partial fulfillment of registration requirements.

The LAP National Chairman, Counsellor Tuan Wreh, who made the presentation at the SECOM's Headquarters on Ashmun Street, said the requirements were submitted in compliance with guidelines set by SECOM for the registration of political parties in the country.

A copy of the party's articles of incor- poration, as well as constitution and by- laws were also presented today to SECOM Chairman.

Counsellor Wreh was accompanied to SECOM by a nine-man delegation of LAP's national organizing committee including Mr Harry A. Greaves, Sr., Dr S. Byron Tarr, Mr David M. Farhat, and Mr P. Nah-Doe Bropleh among others.

The LAP's Chairman assured SECOM that his party would protect the "fundamental rights of the Liberian People and foreigners as enshrined in the adopted constitution of Liberia"..

He also promised that LAP would seek for the "peaceful co-existence of political parties in Liberia, as well as ensure equal justice under the rule of law."

The Action Party's move brings to three, the number of proposed political parties that have so far partially fulfilled registration requirements.

The National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), and the Unity Party (UP), had earlier submitted financial requirements for registration as political parties to contest the ensuing general election aimed at returning the country to democratic civilian rule.

Pledge of British help

The British Ambassador to Liberia, Mr Douglas Reid, has assured his country's assistance towards Liberia's agricultural, health and social welfare programs.

Ambassador Reid gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on Information Minister Carlton A. Karpeh at his Capitol Hill Office. He informed Mr Karpeh that his Govern-ment attaches great importance to the health program of the country because it caters to the health needs of all Liberians.

Ambassador Reid praised the cordial relations between Liberia and Great Britain and said the Government was following with interest the socio-economic development programs of Liberia.

US support for Liberian goals

The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Mr William L. Swing, has pledged his country's continuous support for Liberia's development goals.

He said the long existing relations between the United States and Liberia was a result of several bilateral exchange programs in the technical, scientific and cultural fields designed by both Governments to improve the well-being of their citizens.

Ambassador Swing was speaking when he administered "the oath of commitment" to 11 US Peace Corps volunteers at the end of a five-week training in fisheries tech- nology and extension services techniques.

Two civil servants sacked

Two civil servants were publicly given 25 lashes each and sacked for what officials termed "payroll padding" at the finance ministry since last March.

According to the Liberian State News Agency, LINA the Finance Minister, Mr Alvin Jones, further ordered key puncher, Henry Williams and auditor Peter Mulbah, who worked in the data processing division where government payroll checks are processed, to be jailed at a maximum security prison.


Foreign loans

Three agreements were signed on 22nd October between Ivory Coast and the Central Fund for Economic Co-operation (CCCE), Great Britain and the African Development Bank (ADB). The total amount of the loans is about 22bn CFA francs.

The Minister of Finance, Abdoulaye Kone, said: For some years now, the CCCE has been assisting us in a field that is very vital to the Ivorian Government agriculture and rural development. The amount of the loan is 18.5bn CFA francs.

The second loan agreement was with Great Britain, involving 3.5m pounds sterling, that is about 3bn CFA francs. This loan was granted by the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to President Houphouet-Boigny during his visit to Great Britain. It was granted simply to demonstrate to President Houphouet- Boigny the British Government's interest in strengthening the exemplary co-operation that exists between Ivory Coast and Great Britain.

The third loan was signed with the ADB for 6m units of account. The money will be used to finance a small-scale industrial programme in the animal breeding sector.


Morocco threatens pull out

King Hasan has threatened to pull Morocco out of the OAU if it recognises the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic. Moroccan radio said that King Hasan would not be attending the OAU summit but that Morocco would be represented. But the King made it clear that he was ready to slam the door of the organisation in the event of it admitting the SADR.

Speaking to representatives of the French Language press in Fez, King Hassan said that Morocco was still prepared to organise a referendum in Western Sahara, but that he would never negotiate with the Polisario, as the OAU had ordered him to do in a resolution at last year's summit.

The King said that since 1981, he had given the OAU free hand to decide on the conduct of the referendum, the choice of the polling booths, scrutineers and observers, and who would be eligible to vote.


West German and French aid

The annual Guinea-FRG inter- governmental negotiations have ended at the Palace of Nations after three days of deliberations. The sectors to benefit from West German aid are energy, health, agriculture, posts and telecommunications, radio and television. For this purpose, the FRG Government is providing Guinea with 27m DM.

France has also decided to grant to the Government 57m francs. This news was announced by Mr Christian Nucci, the French Minister for Co-operation and Development. The money is for the modernisation of public transport in the capital, equipment for analytical laboratories and the extension of the programmes of the national radio.


More foreign exchange shops

A new foreign exchange shop has opened at the Continental Hotel in Accra. It is run by the Ghana Tourist Development Company Limited and has a wide range of foreign goods including liquor, tobacco, electronic equipment, perfumery, toiletries, provisions, baby foods. Cold beef is also available, on request.

Other shops run by the company are the foreign exchange shop at the Trade Fair Site and another in Kumasi. It also operates the Diplomatic shop in Accra. But these are by no means the only foreign exchange shops operating in Revolutionary Ghana.

30 births on 3 beds

The Labour Ward of the Korle Bu Teaching hospital is reported in the 'Weekly Spectator' to be facing problems of great magnitude. The ward is reportedly registering about 1000 births monthly even though there are only three delivery beds to cater for the would be mothers.

This situation was narrated by Dr A. B. Amoa, a gynaecologist, deputising for the head of the hospital's Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department when Mr and Mrs Warren J. Standal from the Christian Relief Organisation based in Canada and Reverend Richard Omenako, leader of the African Chapter of the Organisation visited the hospital.

CJ defends legal system

The Chief Justice has cautioned against equating novelty with improvement and advised that care substituting the legal system with what he must be taken in described as "an unfamiliar and probably less efficacious system unpractised anywhere and dreamt of only by some unpractical idealists."

In an address delivered to the Ghana Bar Association annual meeting at Sekondi, Justice Apaloo noted that there is nothing structurally or basically wrong with the Legal system. If anything, he said, it is the conduct and comportment of the practitioners and their attitude toward the profession.

Justice Apaloo who spoke on "The Ghanaian Legal system - what is wrong?" explained that most of the problems of the Legal system have been due to the human factor, saying the conduct of people determine the success or failure of any system.

In this regard, he referred to the much- praised public tribunals and questioned three of their widely reported judgements. These are the Addy, the Dzaba and the Arhin cases.

On the Addy case, Justice Apaloo held that justice was perverted when the Tribunal after admitting that it was "a clear case of murder, nevertheless, decided to give it what it called a balanced judgement" of not guilty by reason of the "present day conditions."

The Chief Justice further described the death sentence which the Tribunal arbitrarily imposed on Dzaba as a "monstrous error." For, he contended, that since in the Dzaba case the Government did not specify the imposition of death sentence in writing as required by PNDC Law 24, its imposition was unlawful.

On the Arhin case, Mr Apaloo noted that by the meaning of section 125 of the Criminal Code, the accused dishonestly appropriated the sum, but yet the Tribunal cleared him of the theft offence. Ironically, Justice Apaloo added that the same Arhin had convicted another person on the grounds that engine oil was an important commodity and because the court was a revolutionary one, even though on his own admission the evidence did not warrant conviction.

In his opinion, these perverse results were reached precisely because of the human element involved, namely inadequate human material, and not so much because of the very system of the Tribunal.

Editors Note: Addy was executed last month after a successful appeal against the tribunal ruling by the State.

Kofi Baako is dead

Mr Kofi Baako, a minister in the Nkrumah regime has died at the Ridge hospital in Accra after a short illness. He was 61. The late Kofi Baako was the country's first Information Minister, when it attained independence from the British in 1957. He was then the Minister of Defence when the late President Nkrumah was overthrown in a military coup in 1966. Regarded as the most honourable and dedicated of President Nkrumah's ministers, the late Mr Baako is survived by a wife and seven children.

C3bn tax collected

The Central Revenue Department collected C3.3 billion in direct taxes for the government in the first months of the year. This is C800 million above the set target of C2.5 billion the department was expected to collect under the 1984 fiscal budget.

IN 1981 the department collected C1.3 billion in direct taxes. This went up slightly the following year in 1982 to C1.7 billion while C1.9 billion was bagged last year.

The bulk of taxes collected came from direct taxes levied on self-employed people. The sharp increase in tax collection is being attributed to a campaign mounted by the department of central revenue in the media and lectures aimed at making the general public aware of their tax obligations.

Informed sources however are quick to point out that increased wages, devaluation and the introduction of higher denominations of the country's currency were bound to result in an increase in revenue collection.

Government can't bear university cost

The PNDC has decided that it is no longer possible for the Central Government to bear the full cost of feeding university students.

In a statement the Council declared that the present level of feeding subsidy paid to university students will not represent a permanent solution and that at the appropriate time, parents and guardians will be called upon to bear the full cost of feeding their wards in universities.

It explained that the feeding of students in third cycle institutions is primarily the responsibility of parents and guardians as it is throughout the educational system. Similarly, parents and guardians are fully responsible for the feeding of their wards in primary and middle schools and in secondary schools government provides a subsidy of only C10 per student per day.

Boost for government programme

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a stand-by arrangement for the Government authorizing purchases up to the equivalent of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 180 million over the next 16 months, in support of the government's economic and financial programme.

Purchases under the arrangement, equivalent to 88 per cent of Ghana's quota in the Fund of SDR 204.5 million, will be financed in part from the Fund's ordinary resources and in part from resources borrowed by the Fund (SDR 96.5 million).

Ghana's financial obligations to the Fund resulting from past operations and transactions, excluding Trust Fund Loans, currently total the equivalent of SDR 359 million.

Kwabre Kroye Kuo

The above-named Association has recently been formed to bring together the citizens of KWABRE NO. 1, 2 and 3 and KWABRE Mponua in the Ashanti region of Ghana currently in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

General Meetings are held on every second Sunday of the month at Hawksworth Hall, Oakland Estate, Cavendish and Abberville Road Junction, Clapham South, London, SW4, starting from 11th November 1984 at 2 p.m. Ring (01) 555 8884, 444 3501, 582 2170, for further information.

Jailed for wee smuggling

Nana Osei-Tutu, 34 year old Ghanaian has been jailed for three years by the Reading Crown Court.

Nang Osei-Tutu who was described as a minicab driver was committed to the Reading court by an Uxbridge magistrates court on September 6 after he had been caught on July 22 at Heathrow Airport with what was found to be cocaine.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of attempting to smuggle into the United Kingdom cocaine with the explanation that he needed the money to settle his debts. He told the court that his wife had just had a baby and pleaded for leniency.

Oil profits to be shared

Ghana will share profits from production of oil by any company operating in the country apart from royalties due to her.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, senior lecturer in law at the University of Ghana, Legon however, pointed out that under the country's new petroleum law and model contracts government would initially allow such oil companies to recoup their investment costs.

He was speaking at a symposium on "Oil Possibilities in Ghana", organised by the Ghana Institution of Engineers at the British Council Hall in Accra.

Mr Tsikata explained that this concession was meant to attract more investors in oil production in Ghana.

He said under the new law, both the Ghana Government and such companies had been provided with opportunities to present their cases for review in the event of a rise in the price of oil. This, he noted, was meant to create a mutually acceptable framework for the operations.

Lower cocoa price

Cocoa trading is experiencing sharp price fluctuations following uncertainty about the size of this season's crop in the leading producer countries.

If the Ivory Coast, the world's biggest producer is able to meet the volume forecast by analysts, there will be a fairly large surplus globaly in 1984-85 which in turn will lead to lower prices.

In May when there seemed little doubt about the Ivorian achievement, prices dropped sharply from the 5½ year peak of £2,130. Since then, prospects deteriorated and the market made up a large part of the loss.

But now the experts are predicting that nearly all the big producers are in a position to harvest better crops than last year when drought in West Africa and Brazil severely reduced yields.

In fact, early last month, the US Department of Agriculture forecast record. world production of 1.74 million tonnes in 1984-85, 14 per cent up. The implications are lower prices for cocoa..


Chad-CAR air service

An air agreement signed between the Central African Republic and Chad has come into effect. The national airline, Air Chad, used its F-28 plane in inaugurating the first Ndjamena-Bangui, Bangui- Ndjamena flight. On 19th october, the CAR's airline also started its service to Ndjema from, Bangui.


Private airlines to continue

Group Captain Bernard Banfa Managing Director of the Nigeria Airways, has supported the continued operation of private airlines in the country.

Group Captain Banfa said in Jos, Plateau State that contrary to public opinion, private airlines were doing a good job of making air transportation meaningful in the country.

For instance, he said, private airlines served as a stop-gap when pilots of the national carrier- the Nigeria Airways - went on strike in February this year.

Group Captain Banfa was speaking at a dinner organised for the 67th executive committee meeting of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

Nigeria will not cut oil output

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to cut its oil output by Opec ministers hope their decision will result in Britain and Norway returning their North Sea oil prices to above the Opec level of $29 per barrel.

Opec's president, Dr Subroto of Indonesia, said that agreement had been reached on the size of the output cut, but ministers of the 13 member nations were undecided how the cuts should be spread.

This follows Saudi Arabia's decision that it can no longer take full responsibility for regulating Opec output by cutting its own production.

Opec is also to attempt to persuade the non-Opec producers that they should limit output until demand forces spot market. prices up to and beyond the present Opec market price of $29 a barrel. Saudi Arabia has been expected to bear the brunt of the output cut, from the present Opec ceiling of 17.5 million. However, Shaikh Yamani reported that Saudi Arabia's output was running at 3.5 million barrels a day, compared with its allowed ceiling of 5 million barrels, leaving little scope for a massive cut.

Iran has also given a clear indication that it has little to offer in the way of cuts as it is producing about half its Opec quota of 2.5 million barrels a day.

Bakin Zuwo jailed again

Former governor of Kano State, Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo again stunned members of the Kaduna zone of the special military tribunal when after being pronounced guilty of a charge that he corruptly enriched himself to the tune of about N2.6 million he asked: "what was wrong with my raising N2 million in faovur of the proscribed People's Redemption Party (PRP) when nothing was found wrong with Alhaji Lateef Jakande (former governor of Lagos State) who raised N14 million for Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Chief Obafemi Awolowo?" He was jailed for 21 years.

Jakande's wife replies Bakin Zuwo

Alhaja Abimbola Jakande has taken former Governor Sabo Bakin Zuwo of Kano state to task over his utterances against her husband, now in detention.

She told jailed Kano State former chief executive that there was no similarity between the possession of N2 million for which he (Alhaji Zuwo) was convicted and the continued detention of her husband, Aljaji Lateef Jakande, former governor of Lagos State.In a seven-paragraph press statement, Alhaja Jakande said among other things that: "It is not correct that Alhaji Lateef 1.5 million barrels a day in a move to keep prices at their present levels.

Jakande raised N14 millon for the proscribed Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN)" She added: "The statement of account of the UPN published by the national president of the party on January 16, 1984, is quite clear on the point."

However, Nigeria which broke OPEC ranks and cut prices in the wake of Norway and Britain's cut in North Sea prices, is not likely to cut its output.

Fela continues with defence

Afro-beat king, Fela Anikulapo has told the Port-Harcourt zone of the Exchange Control (Anti-Sabotage) Tribunal that he declared the money on him on behalf of himself and other forty members of his group who were travelling to the United States of America on the day of his arrest. Fela who is facing a two-count charge of currency trafficking said he was aware that every citizen is entitled to travel out with N100 (about £80-£90) in foreign currency, and that when he divided the £1,600 found on him he found that it was about £40 per head.

He also told the tribunal that he went to the Murtala Muhammed Airport with Nigeria and British currencies on the day of his arrest and that he gave the naira on him to somebody for safe-keeping, as he could not travel with it.

He added that a prosecution, witness, a customs officer, Mr Fatai Ogunleye, was among intending travellers, customs and force officers who cheered at the airport when he was about to travel. Fela said when Mr Ogunleye demanded N20 from him, he took him to be one of Fela's fans, and therefore did not regard the demand as a bribe. He instead apologized to the customs officer that he no longer had any naira on him.

He said he was, at that stage asked, by Mr Ogunleye to follow him.

Abuja's 1986 date

Major-General Mamman Vatsa, Minister of Federal Capital Territory says the government for now will only involve itself in projects that will facilitate the movement of the seat of government from Lagos to Abuja by 1990.

He said the movement, which would be in three phases, would begin in January. 1986, the second in January 1988 and the third in January 1990. Gen. Vatsa was speaking at the 15th yearly dinner of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners held in Sokoto at the weekend.

Expel South Africa from UN

The External Affairs Minister, Dr Ibrahim Gambari, has urged the immediate expulsion of South Africa from the UN and said that the Pretoria policy of "inhumanity to man" would only be changed if the "whole world" rallied to the cause of the "freedom fighters."

Navy gets helicopters

The Guardian has reported that the Navy is fortifying its armoury and has also formed a new department I called AIR ARM which will fight with anti-submarine helicopters.

Lt-Commander Ekpenyong Itam Okpo, an air staff officer has been appointed coordinator of aviation matters related to "Air Arm," whose nucleus crew of about 30 members is still undergoing training abroad.

Lt-Commander Okpo, is responsible to the chief of naval operations for "Air Arm's" planning.

Devaluation the only point of issue with IMF

Finance Minister, Onaolapo Soleye has said that the IMF had "appreciated" the country's position on two of the three conditions for granting a loan, the only outstanding issue being the readjustment of the naira.

Soleye said that the solution to Nigeria's economic problems was to develop on the basis of its own limited resources and not on the basis of an IMF loan. In any case, the loan would be very small in relation to Nigeria's foreign debts.

Task force on oil loading

A special task force has been set up to supervise the loading of Nigerian crude oil into foreign tankers.

The members of the task force are drawn from the Nigerian Navy, the Police, the Department of Customs and Excise and the inspectorate division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Over 200 students in jails abroad

The Federal Ministry of Education has compiled the names of 232 Nigerian students who are languishing in jails in 11 countries.

Their terms range from one year to life imprisonment. One of them Olufemi Ollah is however on as life term for murder while another is held in Iran as a prisoner of war. Thirty-four of the 232 are on remand for between two days and five months, for offences such as theft, deception, drug trafficking, assault and possession of offensive weapons.

Fifty-two or 22.4 percent of the 232 are said to have been convicted for drug offences. Others are for rape, indecent assault, foreign currency trafficking, violation of immigration regulations, possession of offensive weapons, forgery, living on immoral earnings and demanding with menace.

Obasabjo's marital status

General Olusegun Obasanjo, former head of state has told the country's newspapers to desist from parading his wives and children on their pages.

Reacting to reports in which two women dispute over who is the legitimate Mrs Obasanjo, the former Head of State through his secretary wrote to the editors of the 'Guardian' and the 'Punch':

"It is true that Oluremi was married at Camberwell Green Registry, London on June 22, 1963. But on her initiative, the marriage was dissolved in January 1976."

According to the letter, when General Obasanjo left Dodanm Barracks, he married Stella according to native law and custom. But in the interest of the children of previous marriage, friends and relations later intervened to secure a reconciliation which in Yoruba tradition makes Oluremi and Stella and anybody else that may be so married, legitimate and real wives of General Olusegun Obasanjo."

Hand over to Ministry staff

Federal Military Government has directed all staff in the diplomatic missions and consular posts abroad who do not belong to the External Affairs Ministry to hand over their duties to the staff of the Ministry of External Affairs and return home on or before November 30, 1984.

This was contained in a circular letter signed by the secretary to the Federal Military Government, Mr Gray Longe and addressed to all permanent secretaries and heads of extra-ministerial departments and parastatals.

Diplomat caught with heroin

The Reading Crown Court has been told that a senior Nigerian diplomat caught trying to smuggle heroin with a street value of £650,000 from Pakistan into Britain expected to be paid up to $40,000. Thirteen pounds of brown heroin in 43 polythene tubes were concealed in two suitcase linings.

Selen Tyem, aged 36, first secretary at the Nigerian embassy in Islamabad, and Abdul Faizi, aged 42, a building contractor from Pakistan, both denied smuggling heroin into Heathrow Airport in September last year.

The prosecution, said that customs officers at terminal three became suspicious of two suitcases, which were collected by Mr Tyem. He met Mr Faizi at a Taxi rank where they were both arrested.

Pre-shipment inspection begins

The task force team set up by the Federal Military Government has arrived in London to begin pre-shipment inspection of goods going to the country.

The team is expected to carry out the functions of the previous Swiss-based inspecting company the SGS, which hitherto inspected all goods prior to shipments to Nigeria..

The task force team will conduct pre- shipment inspection at source before the new inspecting companies recently appoin- ted by the Federal Military Government begin their operation next month.

After inspection the team will issue clear- ance certificate. This certificate has the same status as the clean report of finding previously issued by the SGS. Suppliers and exporters in the United

Kingdom and Eire are requested to contact the team at the Nigeria High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2 5BX, phone: 01-839 1244 ext. 284, for appointments and arrangements for inspection of goods.

The following documents, bill of lading, form M, attested invoice, packing list (where applicable) and location of inspection must be supplied before an inspection can be arranged.

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