By Augustine Nyuykongi
A staggering sum of at least 400 Billion FCFA is reported to still be lingering in the hands of embezzlers convicted by the Cameroon Supreme Court between 2013 and 2020.
The details of this revelation are contained in a publication by the former President of the Special Criminal Court, and current General Counsel at the Supreme Court, Emmanuel Ndjere.
In the publication, it is said that competent authorities have yet to recover the amount from the 96 different judgements passed by the Specialised section of the Supreme Court to persons who were indicted for embezzlement and mismanagement of public funds. According to the 3000 page document, a definitive plan of recovery has never even been laid for the funds estimated at over 400 Billion FCFA.
The publication laid special emphasis, on particular cases and the judgements rendered amongst which are the cases of Titus Edzoa, Atangana Abega, Njiemoum Isaac, Ondo Ndong Emmanuel, Siyam Siewe Alphonse, Yen Eyoum Lydienne Annette, Engoulou Henri, Abah Abah Polycarp and Baleng Maah Celestin.
Cameroonians on social media have not held back in their backlash against the embezzlers and the Government for it’s inability to recover the amount, which many believe would be most useful given the country’s failing economy.
“Some Cameroonians are dying of hunger, starvation, lack of hospital facilities meanwhile others are stealing such huge amounts…why are we so greedy?” Laments a user on Facebook.
“They will pay for it, and generations will also pay for. Divine laws are sluggish, but when it starts working, it becomes very painfully” said another.
Another user was adamant that more radical methods be used to retrieve these funds. “They seem to be very comfortable where they are and that is why they haven’t paid it back. We have to look for ways of making them pay back and send a strong message to those not yet caught…”
Following the publication which exposed this lapses by the state, Emmanuel Ndjere proposed that competent authorities charged at recovering these sums could acquire writs of execution to aid them take drastic measures to return the money to the public treasury.