Connect with us

Central Africa Politics

Gabon detains 8 over theft and oil revenue embezzlement2 minutes read

The current investigations are a follow-up to Operation Mamba — an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2017 by President Ali Bongo

Published

on

Gabon detains 8 over theft and oil revenue embezzlement
Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

Oil-rich Gabon has detained eight people for theft and money-laundering as the government intensifies a crackdown on corruption, the prosecutor for the capital Libreville said Thursday.

The revived anti-graft drive has seen a string of top-level arrests in the country, as accusations that millions of Euros have disappeared from state coffers swirl around top officials.

“Eight people have been placed in preventive detention,” said prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat, adding that they were accused of “siphoning public funds and money-laundering.”

The group appeared before a judge on Wednesday along with eight others who were released on bail, Roponat said.

Pro-government newspaper L’Union reported this week that more than 85 billion CFA francs have “evaporated” over the past two years from the funds of the Gabon Oil Company.

The current investigations are a follow-up to Operation Mamba — an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2017 by President Ali Bongo, who has been battling serious illness.

READ: Ex-Gabonese MP gets 6 years sentence over electoral violence

The 60-year-old president said last month he is “fiercely determined” to push ahead with the campaign against graft.

One high-profile political figure embroiled in the affair is Brice Laccruche Alihanga, Bongo’s former cabinet director who took the lead and spoke for the president after he suffered a stroke in 2018.

Laccuruche held his cabinet post for more than two years but was dismissed on November 7, at the start of a wave of arrests.

He has announced on social media that he will undertake a new mission for “the president and for Gabon”.

Earlier this week, lawyers told international media that presidential spokesman Ike Ngouoni and a dozen others were arrested and questioned over their ties to Alihanga.

READ: Gabon’s Ali Bongo vows to “complete mission” despite health challenges

During his months-long absence abroad for treatment, speculation over Bongo’s fitness surged and the army quashed a brief attempted coup.

Bongo has ruled Gabon since 2009, following the death of his father Omar Bongo, who was in power from 1967.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Central Africa Politics

Cleared ex-Congolese VP not entitled to compensation – ICC

Bemba’s lawyers had sought a total of nearly 69 million euros including compensation for the time he spent in jail and damages for legal costs.

Published

on

Leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo's political party Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) Jean-Pierre Bemba attends a joint press conference with DRCongo's opposition leaders on September 12, 2018 in Brussels. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

Judges of the International Criminal Court have rejected a multimillion euro compensation claim by a former Congolese vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba who was cleared of war crimes charges after spending a decade in the court’s custody.

Bemba filed a claim for compensation and damages after he was acquitted on appeal two years ago of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed as a military commander of troops fighting in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

He originally was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.

Bemba’s lawyers sought a total of nearly 69 million euros including compensation for the time he spent in jail and damages for legal costs and losses in the value of assets frozen by the court including a Boeing 727 passenger jet.

The court said in a statement on Monday ruled that Bemba “failed to establish that he had suffered a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice” and therefore rejected his request for compensation for his time behind bars.

The ruling came even though judges acknowledged that “10 years is a significant amount of time to spend in custody, likely to result in personal suffering, which would trigger compensation” in many national legal systems.

The 34-page written ruling called for the court’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties, to urgently review whether it should impose limits on the length of trials or the amount of time suspects can be jailed before and during their cases.

Judges also dismissed Bemba’s request for damages to cover losses linked to his frozen assets, saying they didn’t have the power to rule on the claim.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Central Africa Politics

Cameroonian separatists kill mayor in Mamfe

Ashu Prisley Ojong is one of the first senior elected official to be killed in the conflict between Cameroon’s army and English-speaking militias.

Published

on

Late Ashu Prisley Ojong, Mayor of Mamfe killed by separatists in Cameroon. /Google

Cameroonian separatists have killed the mayor of a town in the restive Anglophone South West Region, state broadcaster CRTV and a senior military official confirmed on Sunday.

Ashu Prisley Ojong, mayor of Mamfe, around 500 km (300 miles) from the capital in the southwest of the country, was killed when his convoy came under gunfire from Anglophone separatist fighters, broadcaster CRTV said.

A senior military officer in the region, who requested anonymity, told Reuters that two soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Ashu Prisley Ojong is one of the first senior elected official to be killed in the conflict between Cameroon’s army and English-speaking militias.

The insurgency began after the government cracked down violently on peaceful protests by lawyers and teachers in 2016 who complained of marginalization by the French-speaking majority

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Central Africa Politics

Cameroon set for Feb. 9 parliamentary polls despite threat of opposition boycott

More than four dozen parties are taking part in the two elections, which should have taken place in 2017 but were twice postponed.

Published

on

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Yaounde on September 30, 2013 for legislative and local polls set to shore up the strong parliamentary majority of the President's ruling party. AFP PHOTO / REINNIER KAZE (Photo by Reinnier KAZE / AFP)

Cameroon will on Sunday hold its first parliamentary and municipal elections in seven years despite an opposition boycott, terrorist attacks in the north and a bloody separatist struggle in the west.

Maurice Kamto, who mounted the strongest challenge to President Paul Biya’s rule in 2018, has kept his party out of the vote because of the violence.

Once again, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC) formed by 86-year-old Biya looks well placed to sweep the polls.

Here is a snapshot:

Dominant party —

More than four dozen parties are taking part in the two elections, which should have taken place in 2017 but were twice postponed. 

The behemoth is the RDPC, which has a majority of 148 in the current 180-seat legislature. In many constituencies, its candidate is not even being challenged.

The leadership of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), historically the main party of English-speaking regions and the main opposition party in parliament with 18 lawmakers, finally decided to contest after threatening a boycott.

“In the last elections, the SDF lost ground. It needs to regain the lost seats,” said Stephane Akoa, a researcher at the Paul Ango Ela Foundation for geopolitics in Yaounde.

A third contestant to watch is the Cameroon Party for National Reconciliation (PCRN) headed by journalist Cabral Libii, 39, which hopes to knock the SDF into third place and become the main parliamentary opposition to Biya’s forces.

Kamto, winner of second place in the 2018 presidential poll, pulled his Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) out of the elections.

— Conflict —

Terrorist attacks in a region called the Far North as well as a separatist uprising in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions have battered Cameroon’s image as a relatively stable zone in troubled central Africa.

On top of the 3,000 people estimated killed in the west according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

During the presidential poll of 2018, turnout in the Northwest and Southwest regions barely reached 10 percent.

The Far North is wracked by terrorist attacks by Boko Haram from neighbouring Nigeria and a splinter faction, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

— Logistical problems —

Ensuring security in these troubled regions and enabling a vote among a total of almost one million displaced people will be very difficult, non-governmental organisations say.

Jailed for nine months after his supporters demonstrated against the official outcome of the presidential poll, Kamto says a fair election is impossible given the problems.

“To hold elections in Cameroon today… is to send the message that the population (of these regions) are not Cameroonians and thus bring about a de facto partition of the country,” he said.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Trending