Charles Metouck, the disgraced general manager of the National Refining Company (SONARA), who is already serving two jail sentences of 9 and 15 years, has again been accused of fraud this time around with the current GM Ibrahim Talba and Chairman of the Board of Directors, John Ebong Ngole.
On May 11, 2017, the Special Criminal Court issued a new order for dismissal and partial dismissal in the case brought by the State of Cameroon against Charles Metouck, the former SONARA boss. Information has now filtered that Charles Metouck with some of his former collaborators, notably former Minister John Ebong Ngole are alleged to have embezzled more than 60 billion FCFA. The first hearing of this new trial is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
The case follows a judicial study of a report by the Supreme State Audit dated 2010, whose first part led to the former general manager’s condemnation, on October 21, 2015 in Yaoundé to 15 years in prison for embezzlement of public funds amounting to more than 500 million FCFA.
Published in February 2013, the report blamed the former GM of SONARA for causing huge financial damage of approximately 26 billion FCFA to the Cameroonian refinery via 20 major acts of mismanagement. Charles Metouck headed SONARA for eleven years before being dismissed on the 15th of February 2013 and replaced by current GM Ibrahim Talba Malla.
Interestingly, this second case whose investigations were recently concluded involves among others, John Ebong Ngole, Oil tax expert Albert Léonard Dikoumé and the current general manager, Ibrahim Talba Malla. According to the order of dismissal and partial dismissal by the Special Criminal Court, dated May 11, 2017, John Ebong Ngole and Albert Léonard Dikoumé benefited from a “non-place- of -insufficiency charges” against them.
Ibrahim Talba Malla, was a member of the Board of Directors of SONARA in his capacity as General Manager of the Hydrocarbon Price Stabilization Fund (CSPH). He is suspected in this case, along with other members of the Council for improperly collecting fuel costs to attend the various board sessions during the period 2007-2010.
By Rita Akana
Cameroon Intelligence Report