General News Tue, 20 May 2003

Volta Chiefs Held Hostage In Togo Hotel

Twenty-eight chiefs and elders of some traditional area in the Ketu District of the Volta Region have been held hostage at the Hotel Quebec in the Republic of Togo for not being able to settle their hotel bills totalling ?10 million.

It has also been alleged that the chiefs have swindled another hotel proprietor of Kplom Dedie at Aflao of an amount of ?3m in hotel bills after staying at the hotel for more than 3 days.

Information available to the paper revealed that these debts were incurred, when Togbui Satsimadza Afau 11 of Klikor led a group of 28 chiefs and elders to pay homage to Togolese President Eyadema and also congratulate him upon his nomination to contest in Togo’s June general elections on the ticket of R. P. T.

The “Independent” has learnt that after lengthy discussions on matters of mutual interest with the Togolese President, the chiefs and elders, led by Togbui Satismadza Afau II, lodged for 3 days at Hotel Quebec, Lome, where extravagant spending made them incur a debt of 660,000 CFA, an equivalent of ?10 million.

Further investigations revealed that although President Eyadema parted with an amount of 30m CFA to Togbui Satsimadza Afau II to enable the chiefs defray some overhead expenses incurred during the visit, Togbui Satsimadza Afau did not go back to settle the hotel bills but left for Ghana.

He was however confronted at Aflao over the unsettled bill at Kplom Dedie where it is alleged he settled an amount of ?2,100,000 leaving a balance of ?900,000 which he promised to settle later.