Cameroon’s former transport minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o is today firmly in the eye of the storm. The former transport ministry boss, considered as one of the creations of President Paul Biya and a potential successor of the “Lion Man”, is now losing sleep as the wheels of justice that have crushed the ordinary citizen for years, are heading his way. Mr. Mebe Ngo’o is gradually falling into the country’s labyrinthine legal system, a few days after being sacked as the country’s Minister of Transport.
Reports reaching the Cameroon Concord News Group hold that he was taken yesterday to SED where it is believed he answered some tough questions posed by agents of the dreaded GSO (Special Gendamarie Force) regarding a summons issued by the Special Criminal Tribunal.
It should be recalled that some French Cameroon media outfits such as Le Point had reported that Mr. Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and Mr. Basile Atangana Kouna, former minister of water and energy, were those working behind the scenes for the marginalization of the country’s English-speaking minority. It is alleged that they financed the arrest and extradition of the Ambazonian interim president, Julius Ayuk Tabe, just to impress the president. Despite their largesse to the government, both men were kicked out of government last week and are being investigated by the secret service.
Besides being the brain behind the actions against the Anglophone minority, there are also allegations that Mr. Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o has been involved in several fraudulent activities, most of them taking place while he was Minister Delegate in charge of Defense at the Presidency of the Republic.
It is being reported that he bought two helicopters estimated at CFAF 6 billion from Ukraine ostensibly to reinforce the Cameroon air force, but also to line his pockets. There are reports that the technical conditions of the helicopters have been called into question by a military quality monitoring team. It should also be noted that his name did pop up in investigations into the purchase of a faulty aircraft for the head of state, an affair commonly known as the Albatross case that has been a nightmare to former Prime Minister, Ephraim Inoni, who has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
There are also allegations that he inflated the prices of two air crafts he purchased to enhance the national carrier’s fleet. Mr. Alain Mebe Ngo’o is being accused of tripling the prices of the planes when compared to the price at which the DRC bought the same planes.
Meanwhile, his former colleague, Basile Atangana Kouna, is also being accused of helping to fuel the Anglophone crisis that is tearing the country apart. But it is the renationalisation of the national water corporation, Camerounaise Des Eaux, that might finally take this former CAMWATER Director General to jail.
The threats of jail hanging over these former ministers come as no surprise to anybody. Messieurs Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and Basile Atangana Kouna who are being watched by state security are simply following the footsteps of their predecessors who thought they could abuse power and embezzle state funds with impunity. Messieurs Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and Basile Atangana Kouna should have understood that Mr. Paul Biya has no permanent friends. He has permanent interests and once any action militates against his interests, he does not hesitate to punish those who want to rain on his parade. They should have also understood that Operation Sparrow Hawk put in place in 2006 to watch over public funds embezzlers is still doing its job.
By Meshack Enowmbiin Yaounde.