Globe Echo | A journalist murdered in sordid conditions, senior state figures and a media mogul in police custody, the suspected keeper of the seals: all the ingredients for a state scandal are present in Cameroon.
If it is necessary to give him a starting point, the affair which today threatens to shake a section of the regime begins on January 17 with the disappearance of Martinez Zogo. Arsène Salomon Mbani Zogo, whose real name is 50, is a popular voice in Yaoundé who daily denounces on the airwaves of the radio he runs, Amplitude FM, the corruption of the barons of power, where rival clans are waging war. in the shadows with the prospect of one day succeeding the president, Paul Biya, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on February 13.
In the crosshairs of some of his latest broadcasts is notably the businessman Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga. The host of “Embouteillages” accuses him of having benefited from the generosity of the State thanks to the current Minister of Finance, Louis-Paul Motaze, and of benefiting from the constant support of the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso. Powerful men. The first, boss of the media group L’Anecdote and of the Vision4 and Télésud television stations, who notably made a name for himself with the publication in 2006 of “the complete list of homosexuals in Cameroon”, has businesses that extend to the banking sector but also influential networks in the Cameroonian state apparatus and in several presidencies in Central Africa. The second is the nephew of the Head of State and looks like a potential successor. The third has been one of the pillars of power for more than thirty years. Martinez Zogo knows he is threatened, feels followed and confides his concerns to those close to him.
Excruciatingly mutilated remains
In the early evening of January 17, after having tried to escape his pursuers by trying to take refuge in the premises of a police station, the doors of which he found closed, the journalist was taken into a black Toyota Prado by hooded men. His horribly mutilated body was found five days later about fifteen kilometers from the capital. The discovery caused stupor in part of the public and fear among journalists critical of the government who feared they would be the next victims.
Read also: Assassination of a journalist in Cameroon: an influential businessman arrested
However, the affair took a new turn when, on February 2, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, one of the most influential men in the country, and rival of the three leaders mentioned above, announced in a press release the first results of the investigation. He informs his fellow citizens that “the investigations carried out (…) led to the arrest of several people whose involvement in this heinous crime is strongly suspected. Others remain sought after. » No names are mentioned, but according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the arrests, carried out two days earlier, gave rise to a “striking statement” both by its content and by its author “which demonstrates that homicide is a State crime”.