Korkoya-Stewart Legal Battle Intensifies

By: Yassah J. Wright/088045821

National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman, Jerome Korkoya has filed Action of Damage for Libel against former Commissioner of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Mr. John Stewart, and other media entities worth US$200, 000.00 for general damages and US$75,000.00 for punitive damages.

The NEC boss action is based on Stewart’s article published in the Analyst and The New Democrat Newspapers Wednesday July 6, 2016 caption “Assessing Presidential Candidate Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s Chances in 2017”.

Chairman Korkoya, in his complaint told the court that the damages based upon a calculated act of character assassination committed by John H. T. Stewart, the Analyst newspaper, and the New Democrat newspaper against him, ‘a decent man who worked his way from the position of janitor at the Liberia Refinery Petroleum company (LPRC) and has enjoyed a good reputation must not go unpunished’.

According to count-4 of Korkoya’s complaint, the libel is one of the classes of injuries listed under defamation and same will lie when a defendant’s written words are false and injure the reputation, trade, or profession of the plaintiff.

Responding to the action of damage for libel filed against him including the New Democrat Newspaper and the Analyst Newspaper, Stewart pray the court to dismiss the complaint, saying Korkoya is a public official, a position that is subject of greater public scrutiny.

Stewart pointed out that his request for a dismissal of the complaint is supported by the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in the case; Rosenbloom vs Metromedia (1971) in an opinion delivered by Mr. Justice Brennan in which the court made a clear distinction between public figures and private persons in terms of the standard for dismissing libel suits filed by public figures.

Furthermore, the former commissioner in his second count of defense said, “the entire complaint should be dismissed because the law on defamation does not protect a public figure or public official and is open to public scrutiny at all times, hence; assuming without admitting that the statement complained of are false, mere fact of falsehood is not a sufficient ground for plaintiff to file an action claiming damages for defamation, unless he shows that the defendant acted with actual malice”.

Count-12 of Stewart’s defense stated that, “ further as to count two of the complaint, Co-defendant Stewart says that same is a mere citation of the opinion of the Supreme Court and therefore, does not deserve any more traversal than what has been stated in Count 10&11 of the answer.”

He cited a case “Wooding & Company Vs Gibson, 2LLR 409,412 (1922) Bakeh Vs Greene, 14LLR 204, 211,(1960) ,Boveri &AG Vs Morris, 26 LLR (1978); Meridian Biao Bank Vs Maha Industries et all (Supreme Court  (decided January 4, 2013)  as his legal reliance.

The case is expected to resume next week at the Civil Law Court in Monrovia upon notice of assignment. Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

LDEA Battles Illicit Drugs Sale, Usage in Nimba

By Mafanta Kromah

 

A statement released by the Nimba County’s Detail of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) said the sale and consumption of illicit drugs are on the increase in Nimba County.

According to the statement, the Agency has arrested four individuals including three Nigerian nationals and one Liberian for allegedly involving in selling and distributing drugs

Speaking in an interview with female journalists on April 25, 2017 at the office of the Liberia LDEA in Ganta Nimba County,  County Commander Julius Kanubah said they were all found with huge grams of narcotic, heroin, cocaine, among others illicit drugs.

The alleged suspects include Olivar Nwankwo, Nigerian, 27, Kendrick Bee, a Liberian, Friday Ukwein a Nigerian, and George Good a Nigerian.

He also explained that 5,550 marijuana trees were discovered at Blueto Forest, allegedly planted by the Liberians.

According to National Institute on Drug and Abuse, Cocaine is an illicit drug that causes a short-life, intense high that is immediately followed by the contradictory-strong depression, nerviness and a desire for more of the drug. People who use it often don’t eat or sleep correctly. They can experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. The drug can make people feel paranoid, annoyed, unreceptive and anxious.

Regardless of how much of the drug is used or how frequently, cocaine increases the risk that the user will experience a heart attack, stroke, seizure or respiratory (breathing) failure, any of which can result in sudden death.

The phrase “dope fiend” was originally coined many years ago to describe the negative side effects of constant cocaine use. As tolerance to the drug increases, it becomes necessary to take greater and greater quantities to get the same high. Prolonged daily use causes sleep deprivation and loss of appetite. A person can become psychotic and begin to experience hallucinations.

A person coming down from the drug causes depression in a way that that the person will do almost anything to get the drug, they can even commit murder and if he or she can’t get cocaine, the depression can get so intense it can drive the addict to suicide. Probably this is one of the reasons of the high rate of suicide on the continent.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, once heroin enters the brain, it is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors.

The report also reveals that the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours; mental function is clouded; heart function slows; and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage.

Report also shows that the effects of narcotic stimulants and other depressant, which initially produce a feeling of euphoria that often is followed by drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Users also may experience constricted pupils, watery eyes, and itching.

The effects further include nausea and vomiting, abdominal distention and bloating, constipation, liver damage (especially prevalent in abuse of drugs that combine opiates with acetaminophen), brain damage due to hypoxia resulting from respiratory depression and development of tolerance and dependence.

However, according to UN statistics 37,000 people in Africa die annually from disease associated with the consumption of illegal drug. The UN also estimates there are 28million drug users in Africa of which Liberia is no exception.

The UN report at the same time stated that Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America has chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe.

In addition the UN office on Drugs and Crimes noted that West African countries such Guinea Bissau, Liberia and other was becoming the target of these criminal institutions, which were taking advantage of the weaknesses of police and lack of money and resources to use these countries for transit proposes. “When you become a transit country, you are immediately also consumption countries,” said the Gilberto Gerra, the UN Chief of Drug Prevention and Health.

Meanwhile, the Ganta City Magistrate, Owens Freeman, has admitted receiving the alleged drugs traffickers but said they are undergoing trial. Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

‘Another Milestone of China-Liberia Relations’ -Amb. ZHANG

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye, Monrovia, Liberia

Pres. Sirleaf receiving gift from Chinese engineer at the ceremony on April 27

 

Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. ZHANG Yue, has termed the executions of a ministerial complex and the two annexes to Liberian Capitol Building, under China-Aid, as another milestone of China-Liberia relations.

“The process of putting the projects in place is a process of mutual understanding between our two peoples and the outcome has further strengthened our friendship and cooperation,” Amb. ZHANG said on April 27, 2017, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the projects in Monrovia.

Amb. ZHANG alluded to a Chinese proverb that says: “It takes long time to have good things,” indicating that the good things are around the corner after several years of hard work and patience of both sides.

According to him, the Ministerial Complex and the Capitol Building Annexes will improve the working conditions of the Liberian government and legislature so as to better serve Liberian people.

He explained that the Ministerial Complex, with a total construction area of 24,000 square meters, is designed to accommodate at least 1,300 people. It includes offices, meeting rooms, auditorium, multi-function hall, archives, canteen and also auxiliary facilities such as water pump house, power distribution and generator room. For the two Capitol Annex buildings, the Chinese Envoy said the total construction area is 7,300 square meters, accommodating at least 400 people.

Both the Complex and the Annex buildings, he said, are fully equipped with office furniture, assuring that after 30 months, people will see the brand new and well-functioned Ministerial and Capitol buildings.

Amb. ZHANG averred that the projects are solid evidence for the strong commitment of China to stand with Liberia, to develop with Liberia and to share with Liberia, adding, “We are trying our best to make the friendship and partnership between China and Liberia as well as Africa meaningful and tangible, and to let people feel it by heart.”

He also used the occasion acknowledge the contractors, the JPC (Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group) for the Ministerial Complex and JC (Jiangdu Construction Group) for the Annex buildings. Amb. ZHANG said these are not only turn-key projects, but much more than that. More than 400 Liberian workers to join in the construction of the two projects. And a special technical team from Ministry of Public Works is working closely with the Chinese engineers during the whole process in order to know everything specific about the buildings for the better operation and maintenance of them in the future.

“So capacity-building is a major element of China-aid programs,” he maintained.

Then commended all the members of the Liberian team working with China for the support and cooperation.

Also making remark while officially breaking ground for the projects, Liberia’s President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, termed the two projects as a great relief for various ministries and agencies of the Government of Liberia operating from outdated buildings that do not meet current day reality.

The Liberian Chief Executive commended China, also recognizing the contributions of former Chinese Ambassadors-Lin Songtian, Zhou Yuxiao and now Zhang Yue as well acknowledging President Xi Jinping for working towards bringing to fulfillment the Ministerial Complex and Annexes at the Legislature.

On his part, Liberia’s Public Works Minister, Mr. William G. Moore, said the construction of the Ministerial Complex and Annexes to the Capitol Building was not strange to him. Moore said he became involved with the projects when he worked in the President Delivery Unit (PDU). He said he was delighted at this time that the projects are being formally executed. He extended gratitude to former Public Works Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods and Antoinette Weeks who laid all the technical details for the projects prior to his appointment, as Minister.

Minister Moore then commended the Government of the People’s Republic of China for providing the Ministerial Complex and Annexes to the Capitol Building as China-Aided for Liberia.

Electricity Restored To Zwedru, Others

By: Fredrick P. W. Gaye

LEC at work in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County

Residents of Liberia’s southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh and Maryland have begun celebrating the ongoing electricity restoration to that part of the country after many years.

The cross-border electricity project being implemented by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), was recently commissioned in Zwedru, Grand County during the visit of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the area. Grand Geneh’s electrification project was the second to commission under the cross-border project, the first being Nimba County’s project.

Speaking with journalists in Monrovia on Wednesday, LEC’s External Relations and Corporate Coordinator, Mr. Adolphus Scott, disclosed plans by the Corporation to officially commission the project in Maryland County soon; even though current is already in the capital, Harper.

According to Scott, as part of efforts to illuminate Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attaches serious importance to the West African Power project, from which three counties are initially benefiting, including Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland.

He said President Sirleaf negotiated with EU and Ivory Coast for the cross border power project, aimed at bringing quality and affordable power Liberians, adding that Monrovia is not Liberia, and so providing electricity to rural areas is a laudable development for the country.

Scott revealed that, so far, about 60,000 persons and institutions are currently benefiting from the eight megawatts (8MW) power grid coming from Ivory Coast.

The LEC official explained that the power grid is being installed in three lines: one enters from Ivory Coast to Nimba County; one from Ivory Coast to Grand Gedeh County and the other from Ivory Coast to Maryland County.

He mentioned the overcoming of a serious problem LEC had with the 72-KM line in Grand Gedeh, which the Corporation solved to restore electricity in Zwedru, after the situation drew the President’s attention to mandate its immediate restoration.

Scott praised Grand Gedeh officials and citizens for their assistance and cooperation during the project, without whom he said it would have been more difficult.

“On behalf of the Management of the LEC, we want to say a big thank you to the people of Grand Gedeh County and the President of the Republic of Liberia in ensuring that the people of Grand Gedeh have electricity,” he averred.

At the same time, Scott alarmed the loss LEC continues to sustain as a result of power theft, indicating the the Corporation is losing 33% of its revenue to power theft.

He then called on Liberians to assist in fighting power theft because it is from the revenue the corporation expands transmission by purchasing poles, meters and otherv modern equipment.

The LEC’s External Relations and Corporate Coordinator said the aim of government is to electrify the entire country, but doing so also needs the assistance of the citizens by desisting from and helping to battle acts that undermine the aim.

He used the occasion to disclose that the Corporation has begun using smart meters and other state-of-the-art equipment to assist in minimizing power theft and other criminal acts as well as providing safe power.

Touching on provision of current to Monrovia and other parts of the County, Scott explained that LEC is doing everything possible to get people connected gradually. He said transmission lines are being installed in some communities and along the Monrovia-Kakata Highway. Scott told Liberians to be patient as government lobbies with partners for the establishment of power grids to boost generation. He said communities are mapped in their respective grids and once LEC obtains grids, they will get connected immediately.

LEC, he said, relies on its customers and so it has no intention to leave out anyone, and it is its statutory responsibility to provide services to the people.

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Guangzhou promotes Fortune Global Forum in Tokyo

Guangzhou, China’s most integral business center and gateway to the outside world, is enabling a new level of collaboration and innovation between Chinese and Japanese enterprises by following through on a series of progressive business and economic initiatives set forth by the humming southern capital of Guangdong Province. In 2016, import-exports between Guangzhou and Japan grew to USD$ 12.77 billion representing a 12.5 percent total increase from the year prior. Of that, imports from Japan to Guangzhou totaled USD$ 9.31 billion, an 11.8 percent rise, while exports from Guangzhou to Japan increased 14.4 percent, to USD$ 3.46 billion.

 

By the end of 2016, Japanese companies had invested in and established 626 enterprises in Guangzhou with the actual use of foreign capital totaling USD$ 5.24 billion. At the same time, Guangzhou companies continued to invest in Japan, establishing 16 enterprises with a total investment volume of USD$6.65 million.

 

“There’s a powerful synergy that’s growing between our two great nations, with Guangzhou at the heart of it all,” said Guangzhou Vice Mayor Cai Chaolin. “Many leading Japanese enterprises have already recognized the benefits and ample opportunities that exist for them through Guangzhou’s business-friendly environment, and it has been our great honor to work closely with them to advance our two economies. We look forward to an even brighter, more interconnected and collaborative future with our Japanese counterparts.”

 

The Vice Mayor is in Tokyo this week keynoting a private forum on innovative cooperation between Chinese and Japanese enterprises. This event comes as an early precursor as the Chinese city readies to host the highly anticipated 2017 Global Fortune Forum in December. The Global Fortune Forum will convene world leaders and the heads of global business in Guangzhou to discuss the dynamic world of international commerce, creating an opportunity for CEOs of the  Fortune Global 500 to meet and engage with Chinese leaders from the public and private sectors.

 

In Japan this week, the Vice Mayor is joined by additional representatives from the Guangzhou government, the Consulate General of China in Japan, the Chairman of the Guangzhou Automobile Group, Mr. Zeng Qinghong, as well as representatives from the Fortune Global Forum, JETRO, Nomura Holdings and various Japanese Fortune 500 companies. Their locally-hosted forum will welcome 100 executives from major Japanese corporations to learn about and discuss collaboration and innovation between the two regions, and jointly address the best path forward for businesses.

 

Many of the world’s top 500 enterprises have set up stations in Guangzhou, with a broad investment portfolio ranging from electronics to automobiles, fine chemicals, food and beverage, electronic information, metal manufacturing, intelligent equipment and beyond. Already, Japanese auto giants like Honda, Toyota and Nissan have established automobile manufacturing plants in the city to capitalize on its progressive investment offerings and rapidly growing business landscape. In addition, Guangzhou has welcomed the likes of Honda TechnologyResearch, JFE, Denso and other related businesses; Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Mizuho Bank and other modern service enterprises; as well as Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Hitachi and other advanced manufacturing enterprises.

 

The Guangzhou Automobile Group is a prime example of the kind of innovative collaboration taking place between the two nations. The Chinese group has successfully endeavored joint venture businesses with Japanese enterprises to form Guangzhou Automobile Honda, Guangzhou Toyota and Guangzhou Automobile Mitsubishi; through these joint ventures the group can hasten the localization process, develop more Chinese products and services and constantly enrich its product line, resulting in a mutually beneficial, win-win cooperation.

 

Foreign-funded enterprises in Guangzhou enjoy high level of localization in terms of management and technical personnel, and many foreign enterprises have established research and development centers in industrial parks of the city, which help them to understand and effectively cater to regional markets.

 

The city is also constantly raising the level of investment and trade facilitation, and developing reforms for entrepreneurs to foster a convenient investment, operational and development atmosphere. This includes the streamlining of administrative examinations and approval permissions. Guangzhou also continues to reduce the burden on enterprises, lowering operating costs and helping enterprises by reducing administrative fees, setting up government funds and implementing policies to reduce insurance rates. In recent years, the city’s talent introduction scheme has also enabled the region to attract more international talent with innovative spirit and drive.

 

As a comprehensive transportation hub, Guangzhou also allows for more global openness and interconnectivity via its vast port, rapidly expanding international airport, far-reaching railways and strong highway system.

 

“Beyond the incredible business environment blossoming in Guangzhou, our city serves as a welcoming cultural interchange, allowing people and enterprises to come together harmoniously,” Vice Mayor Cai added. “Our long summers and warm winters make our home even more welcoming, plus our fantastic food and beverage offerings make this one of the most ideal places to live and work, and that is only becoming more true as we usher in more talent and inspiration from our Japanese friends.”

 

Source: Guangzhou Municipal Government

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Victory for Change Party Eyes Merger

Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, Nat’l Chairman

Victory for Change Party’s (VCP) National Chairman, Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, has disclosed plans by the party to merge with other political parties ahead of the 2017 elections.

Cllr. Tulay said, during the party’s convention held on April 22, 2017, in Gbarnga, Bong County, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) sought mandate to discuss collaboration with other political parties.

Speaking with the In Profile Daily on Monday at the party’s headquarters in Monrovia, the VCP Chairman revealed that discussions are being held with several political parties aimed at forming a coalition or an alliance.

He named the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Liberty Party (LP), Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) as political parties with which the VCP has begun discussions while planning to meet the ruling Unity Party (UP) and others.

Commenting on the convention, Cllr. Tulay explained that delegates elected officers of the party, including him, for the next six years. He was re-elected Chairman. The elected officials include: Cllr. Emmanuel A. Tulay, National Chairman; Dr. Kettehkumuehn Murray, Vice Chair for Administration; David A. Kankalan, Vice Chair for Operations, Mobilization & Recruitment; Linda Kherkei, Vice Chiar for Gender & Social Services; Joe K. Williams, Vice Chair for Election Commission and A. Nyenpan Saytue, National Secretary General, among others and county coordinators.

According to him, the convention could not elect the party’s political leader because two persons who declared intention for the post did not turn out after former standard bearer, Cllr. Marcus Jones, told the party he was no longer interested.

As a result, Cllr. Tulay said the two persons in question will be notified in two weeks of a new date for the election as well as local primaries. He further noted that post for Vice Chairperson for Governmental Affairs and Vice Chairperson for Gender and Social Affairs remains vacant because nobody has applied for it.

Cllr. Tulay indicated that, if efforts to collaborate do not work, they will go to election, adding, “We will also go to the poll with our legislative candidates if we don’t get standard bearer.”

Meanwhile, the VCP Chairman said he was happy for the encouraging turnout at the convention, commending the convention committee, delegates and other invitees for making the event successful. Cllr. Tulay said 90 percent of the party delegates from across Liberia graced the convention, saying, “We could not reach the balance 10 percent due to drop in signals (mobile network) and other factors. But we are making sure to connect with them on the ongoing development of the party.”

Also during the convention, Cllr. Tulay said the National Executive Committee (NEC) made reports to the delegates on the working of the party and sought mandates to approve decisions, and amendments by the Committee.

 

Trucking Union President Detained -In Johnson Street Accident Case

By Yassah Wright

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has detained the President of the Trucking Union of Liberia, only identified as Sumo.

Police arrested Sumo on Wednesday at the LNP Headquarters for failure to present the owner of the truck that was involved in a tragic accident on April 8, 2017, killing at least five persons, injuring several on Johnson Street in Monrovia.

According to the LNP, Sumo has taken responsibilities of arrangements for the burial of those who died in the accident, without the consent of lawyers representing aggrieved family members. He has also decided to speak on behalf of the truck’s owner, only identified as Dukuly, who is said to be at large.

Before Sumo’s arrival and subsequent detention at the LNP Headquarters, families of the accident victims assembled on the grounds of the Temple of Justice with placards and chanted slogans for speedy justice. They had gone to lodge complaint with Traffic Court Judge, who told them the matter has not reached to the court yet.

For some hours, the aggrieved families were heard saying, “we want justice, our people getting rotten.”

On the other hand, lawyers of the family members have accused them (families) of reportedly making arrangements with the Trucking Union president without their (lawyers) knowledge.

The counselors averred that any burial arrangement should not have been done with the Trucking Union alone; but with the consent of the Liberia National Police and the court.

Mr. Clifford Kai, a family member of one of the deceased,  expressed disappointment in the Police for not being able to locate the truck owner up to present.

It can be recalled that the LNP reported three deaths and 11 injured persons in the accident.

An LNP statement said the accident occurred when a truck carrying two 20-foot containers lost control.

Mother Felecia Saoh, also a bereaved family member, told journalists she was very disappointed in the police to have an uninsured truck on the street of Monrovia and also allowing a “handicapped” driver to obtain a driver’s license.

Meanwhile, LNP authorities have assured of doing everything in dispensing justice in the matter.

 

USAID-LAVI/NRM Coalition Launches Info Gathering Report

By Mafanta Kromah

 

The National Resource Management (NRM) coalition supported by the United State Agency International Development (USAID)-Liberia Accountability Voice Initiative (LAVI) on Wednesday launched it’s Information Gathering (IG) Report.

Launched at the iCampus on Carey Street in Monrovia, with the theme ‘Building a Vibrant NRM and Concession Coalition’, the report is geared toward increasing public awareness among citizens and policy-makers to lay the basis for advocacy for necessary changes in the management and administration of County Social Development Fund (CSDF).

The USAID-LAVI support of the NRM coalition is made of eight civil society organizations to improve the management, governance and the participation of the citizens in the administration of the CSDF.

The organizations are Platform for Development and Peace (P4DP), Liberia Media Center (LMC), Development Education Network-Liberia (DEN-L), National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE), Institution for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI), Rural Human Right Activist Program (RHRAP) and Citizens United to Promote Peace and Democracy in Liberia (CUPPADL).

According to LAVI, the objective of the IG exercise is to identify issues surrounding the monitoring and management of CSDF in Liberia and to draw out challenges and opportunities related to advocacy, transparency, accountability and enhanced participation of citizens in CSDF decision making.

The Information Gathering Report was presented by three persons including the Executive Director of P4DP, Jimmy Shilue-Lead Presenter, the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Edddie Jarwolo-Co Presenter and the Executive Director of IREDD, Harold M. Aidoo-Co Presenter.

They said the coalition came about because CSOs working in NRM and Concession sector in Liberia have challenges in coordination, collaboration and even advocacy thus creating hurdles in their ability to effectively articulate citizens’ voices in the reform processes as well as promote citizen’s participation in the NRM sector.

LAVI-NRM Coalition said, based on this consideration, following desk reviews, NRM Coalition partners, supported by LAVI, decided to focus their intervention on the management and monitoring of the county social development fund (CSDF).

Accordingly, consensus was reached in September 2016 to embark on information gathering process, in order to thoroughly understand what’s obtaining in the management and monitoring of the CSDF and design a tailored strategy to amplify the voices of the targeted beneficiaries.

“The majority 71% of respondents indicated they receive information through radio talk shows, few citizens received from local authorities or town hall discussions and out of 70% 69.9% of citizens feel very unsatisfied with how the funds are implemented when asked how they get news and information related to the use of CSDF in their communities, ” the report indicated.

Meanwhile, the official launch of the report put a public spotlight on the ongoing activities of the civil society NRM and concession project at the national level and engagement with key policy makers identifying different policy options to ensure the appropriate management of the CSDF.

 

U.S.-Based Liberians Donate US$4K To MTM Academy

Scene of presentation with MTMA students (beneficiaries) Tuesday

Some Liberians residing in the United States, under the banner, Liberian Association of Greater Houston (LAGH), have donated US$4,000.00 to the management team of the More Than Me Academy (MTMA) on Ashmun Street, Monrovia .

Madam Effua McGowan, a MTMA representative, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, presented the donation to the school in Monrovia.

Madam McGowan said the cash donation came from Liberians in the United States, particularly in Houston who saw the need to contribute financially to the work of More Than Me in molding the minds of Liberia’s future leaders.

“Liberians in the diaspora were excited for the level of contributions this American institution is making in Liberia by impacting sound education in the minds of Liberia’s youthful population, especially the girls children,” the MTMA representative said.

She lauded the efforts of the founder of the institution, Ms. Katie Meyler ,who she noted saw a  positive reason for the establishment of this very unique and important institution, catering to girl children of Liberia.

Madam McGowan speaking to the students of the Academy, said it was very important for them to take their lessons seriously if they are to serve as future leaders of Liberia, noting, “What is in your head no one can take it from you,” noting further, “I am indeed overwhelmed for the level of support being provided by More Than Me Academy, and those Liberian instructors who are selflessly impacting knowledge in your minds,” She told the students.

Speaking on behalf of the Founder of the institution, the Chief Academic Officer of the More Than Me Academy, Madam Alexandra Fallon thanked  members and leadership of LAGH for their support towards the education of the Liberian children, and promised that the amount presented to the institution will be used for its intended purpose.

For her part, the Principal of the institution, Ms. Oludrey Briggs expressed thanks and appreciation to LAGH for the cash donation to her school, and further said, the selection of her institution for the donation was amongst 200 other organizations who were vetted for this donation. “As God could have it, we were opportune to have been selected. We are grateful to this organization,” Ms. Briggs said.

More Than Me Academy (MTMA) is engaged with education in Liberia and a vocal advocate for girls’ empowerment, and is a tuition-free K-6 girls school providing high quality education and holistic services like healthcare, family planning, psycho-social support, and a feeding program for the most vulnerable girls in Monrovia.

MTMA says it committed to supporting its students through the 12th grade with tuition, basic healthcare, and tutoring.

The Academy also serves as an incubator for innovation and a research & development center to test initiatives that, if proven successful will be implemented in schools across Liberia.

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Police Raid “Zogos” In Ganta, Nimba County

By Gborontaye Gboron in Nimba County

 

Police in Ganta City, Nimba County have arrested several persons said to be drugs (narcotics) users. Some of the drugs users carry out criminal activities, thus giving them the name “zogos” in a Liberian parlance.

Police told this paper that the alleged drugs smokers were arrested in an area called “Congo” believed to be highly populated with criminals.

“We arrested some car loaders in the streets and in the  Congo community; but the LNP is questioning them to know among them who are the real zogos that people of Ganta City are talking about,” Ganta Police detail commander Adolphus Zuah said.

Zuah said Congo Community is considered a criminal hideout, pointed out that some residents in the community conceal information from security.

He said the LNP continues to call on the citizens to report any criminal activities in any part of Ganta if the city must be crime-free.

“We have in custody about eight men who were arrested by the Police; but we are investigating whether they are the notorious criminal that people are talking about before they can be charged,” Zuah maintained.

It can be recalled that citizens of the city appealed to Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman  to intervene in the alarming crime rate in Ganta, blaming it on the alleged drugs smokers and car loaders.

The citizens told the Police IG to ensure people referred to as car loaders are removed from the streets as they were posing threats to movement.

They also mentioned of possible violence during the pending national elections if the alleged criminals are not removed from the the streets because they could take advantage of any situation to cause havoc in the city.

“Please try to take the zogo boys from the streets of Ganta because crime rate in this city has creased since you took them from the streets in Monrovia,” said Old Man Freeman Goannue, during a town hall meeting between IG Coleman and citizens in Ganta.