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Analysis: Forjindam’s Persecution: How Torture Can Transfigure A Loyalist 

By Peterkins Manyong

"They arrested me to kill Limbe Shipyard Project". Before his arrest and incarceration on May 7, 2008, the above words could have come from anybody except Zacheus Forjindam.

Forjindam, who made this declaration at the Wouri High Court on February 2, was, before his arrest, a loyalist of the Biya oligarchy who would rather have cut off his tongue than utter such a pro-Anglophone sentiment. Like the mixture of gold, dust and other metals that has to pass through a fire for gold to be extracted, Forjindam has passed through a furnace of psychological torture to discover his Anglophoneness.

The torture meted on him by a sophisticated Bassa/Beti Mafia has taught Forjindam rational thinking: that no Anglophone, however great, can be greater than his Francophone overlords. This is a man who was carried to the high heavens on the wings of panegyric, Biya himself included. How is it possible that this "enfant cheri" among general managers could be taken out of his celestial bed and thrown into
garbage without the knowledge of his Presidential praise singer.

The fact that he was sacked and arrested the same day attests to the very sophisticated nature of the plot. His accusers didn’t bother even to get his own side of the story as confirmed by Milend, Director of CAC, the controversial private firm that audited Forjindam. In a country, which had just adopted the commendable justice that prescribes judgment before punishment, it is the summit of mischief that the treatment of a criminal was meted on him even before the actual trial.

In fact, before the arrest of Forjindam, he had been tried and sentenced on the pages of French newspapers. His accusers acted in line with what S.T. Coleridge describes as "the motive seeking of a motiveless malignity". They first arrested him before trying to establish incriminating evidence against him.

Those who have been following the Forjindam Affair would easily recall how attempts were made to plant evidence both in his office and at his residence. At his Bamenda Up Station residence, for instance, a Francophone soldier reportedly attempted to push some bullets under the carpet in order to create the impression that he was a member of the G11 who had imported arms to overthrow the Biya Regime. It was thanks to the vigilance of an Anglophone soldier that the diabolic move was halted.

His detention at New Bell has been a horrible experience. Elizabeth Tatang, National President of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, who met Forjindam in New Bell, told this analyst she was horrified that the bed on which she saw him sleeping was shorter than Forjindam who is 1. 9 metres tall and that he had rather to crawl than walk into his detention cell. The same lady recalled Forjindam’s extreme irritation with some of his Santa CPDM brethren who either connived with his enemies to effect his humiliation, or were indifferent to his fate.

The ex-Chantier Naval GM refuted widespread allegations that that his passport was confiscated and that he could have left the country after he learnt that there was a conspiracy to rubbish him. But that he chose to stay so that the truth should prevail. And the truth is beginning to prevail. After close to two years in detention, Forjindam has been finally permitted to tell his own side of the story and evidence to exculpate him is being accepted in court.

Thanks to this development, it is now known that, unlike the cases of other managers of state corporations under detention, Forjindam’s arrest was not ordered by the Supreme State Control, the only legitimate body authorised to do so. It has been exposed  that a member of the controversial private firm that did the audit, Charles Kooh II (God forbid that there should ever be a Charles Kooh III) and Claude Nyassa, Chantier Naval Board Chairman, who endorsed it, connived to produce the complaint that resulted in Forjindam’s arrest.

But those who effected his sacking are still to be known at the time of writing this commentary. Even SNH Director, Adolphe Moudiki, suspected to be part of the mafia that wanted him out of Chantier Naval, is playing safe. Moudiki is said to have worked in tandem with Laurent Esso, Secretary General at the Presidency, and Antoine Bikoro, to punish Forjindam for frustrating a contract which would have yielded them a profit of several billions.

In conformity with the concept of poetic justice, Nyassa is already paying the price of villainy. He was on February 15, sacked as National Assembly Secretary General. Although his sacking is said to be unconnected to the Forjindam Affair, it is expected that when he will be probed, many nasty things will come crawling out of the Pandora box of mischief he and partners-in-crime have in store.

Antoine Bikoro, on his part, has already been exposed as extremely corrupt. His sacking and arrest is inevitable unless the Regime applies the principle of selective justice which can permit a Mendo Ze to move about freely when persons who had committed the same crime are languishing in dungeons. Oppression can indeed cause the dumb to speak as in the case of Balaam’s donkey (Numbers 22:23-37).

The Forjindam case is a litmus test not only for the new Criminal Procedure Code, CPC, but for Cameroon’s justice system as a whole. This will certainly not be the last analysis on the issue which it is hoped will confirm as stated in an earlier analysis that Anglophones are like cockroaches in an assembly of fowls.
 

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