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Recently Freed Convicts Terrorising Kumba 

By Maxcel Fokwen

The recent surge in aggravated burglary, public harassment of commuters in day light in the metropolis of Kumba, Southwest Region has been attributed to the February 2014 presidential clemency remitting prison terms for inmates nationwide.

The February 18 Presidential decree affected over 171 inmates of the Kumba Principal Prison.

Over two months after the release of a few, city dwellers in  Kumba have been experiencing thievery, harassment in broad daylight from ruffians mostly believed to be ex-convicts who recently regained their freedom.

Kumba is gradually drifting back into its old days when thieves usually broke into houses or robbed commuters at gun point in broad daylight.

Celine Njume, a businesswoman recounted how, on Monday, May 8, a young man snatched her bag while she was on a bike to the Kumba Main Market. The bag, she stated contained close to FCFA 100,000.

Njume told The Post that, investigations she and some synmpathisers carried out revealed that the robber was recently released from the Kumba Production Prison.

Another victim of daylight theft, Blaise Aminde Atabong, a journalist, recounted how two boys emerged from the bush on Preventive Street Wednesday, May 7  at about 1.30pm.and ordered him to give them money. Aminde said the men of the underworld were wielding well sharpened knives; one pointing one at his belly while the other held the other at his back. The journalist said further that his assailants who are presumably living in the Club Number One Kumba neighborhood succeeded in taking away his Nokia Phone and all the money he had on him.

Two days after the incident, Aminde said he visited the neighbourhood and explained the situation to some sympathisers who could barely identify the assailants as having recently been released from prison.

On Tuesday May 6, a man, suspected to be part of a gang of thieves, was beaten to death around the Meme High Court neighbourhood. The man is said to have been the scapegoat of a gang of three thieves that broke into the house of a shop owner and stole FCFA 500,000.

Cases abound of commuters having their phones snatched by unidentified men, while some are forced to hand over their phones or being stabbed to death.

The Post gathered that, the thieves easily identify a phone from a distance, given that most phones nowadays have flashlight. 

2 Anglophones Acquitted In Chantier Naval Case

Two of the three Anglophone senior personnel at PAD, were acquitted and discharged by the Supreme Court in an April 30 ruling.

They are Dingana Faustin and Babila Tita Eric who both hail from Bali Nyonga in the Nortwest Region. They were amongst the 13 persons initially indicted in the case of alleged embezzlement of FCFA 40 billion at PAD. 

The other Anglophone in the matter, Thompson Ntsang-Mba Asa’na, who hails from Awing in the Northwest Region, is reportedly at large. 

The case was first handled by the Wouri High Court, which in its ruling in December 2007, discharged and acquitted Dingana, Babila Tita, Asa’na, and others.

But following appeals that were filed by Siyam Siwe, Etonde Ekoto and two others who were given heavy imprisonment sentences by the Wouri High Court, the Littoral Court of Appeal started the case afresh. Thompson Ntsang-Mba Asa’na, did not appear in the case at the Littoral Court of Appeal. He allegedly fled from the country. In the ruling on the alleged embezzlement case at PAD delivered by the Littoral Court of Appeal in June 2009, Asa’na was slammed a life jail sentence. The court also ordered that an international warrant of arrest be issued against him.  It was same sentence for one Kandem, who also reportedly fled from the country. 

Meanwhile, since Thompson Ntsang-Mba Asa’na fled from the country, he was not available to file an appeal to the Supreme Court, against the June 2009 ruling of the Littoral Court of Appeal. He is, thus, not concerned with the ruling that the Supreme Court delivered on April 30.  Consequently, the life jail sentence that was slammed on Asa’na by the Littoral Court of Appeal in Douala in June 2009, in principle, still holds. So also does the international warrant of arrest.   

As for the other two Anglophones, Dingana and Babila Tita, they were among the persons that appeared in the case at the Littoral Court of Appeal, and were each slammed a 15 year jail term in the ruling delivered by the court in June 2009. They were whisked off from court to the New Bell Prison. 

They both filed appeals against the ruling of the Littoral Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court. The good news came for the two in the ruling that was delivered by the Supreme Court on April 30. The highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, declared the two men not guilty of any of the charges that were levelled against them. Dingana and Babila Tita left the New Bell Prison on May 6, 2014.

Once more the total of eight persons who were discharged and acquitted by the Supreme Court in the April 30 ruling were: Retired Colonel Edouard Etonde Ekoto (former Board Chairman of PAD), Simon Pierre Ewodo Noah (former Deputy General Manager of PAD), Francois Martin Zibi (former Director of Finance at PAD), Jean Paul Winsitcheu, Faustin Dingana, Cilviane Ntchatcho née Tchekang, Etienne Abessolo, and Eric Babila Tita. 

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