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Crisis At SOCAM: Eyango Given 10 Days To Conform To Legality 

 By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

Arts and Culture Minister, Ama Tutu Muna, has given the recently elected Board Chair of the Cameroon Musical Copyright Company, SOCAM, Prince Ndedi Eyango, ten days to return to legality in order to ensure the smooth functioning of SOCAM.
The information is contained in mail No 3901/MINAC/SG of 13 December 2013 signed by the Minister and addressed to Ndedi Eyango. 
Ama Muna stated in the correspondence that services in her Ministry have received numerous complaints following the election of Eyango on November 2 during the extra-ordinary general assembly of SOCAM.
Such complaints, according to the Minister, “have seriously put to question work of the electoral commission resolution relating to the attainment of the quorum, presidency of the general assembly that met but above all your double nationality,” Eyango is told.
“After cross-checking and a detailed examination of the denunciations, I want to formally indicate that your election is tainted in enormous irregularities notably in violation of your [SOCAM] statute and in particular article 4 of your electoral code on Cameroonian nationality required of the candidates,” the Minister notes further.
Calling on Ndedi Eyango to quickly return to legality within ten days, the Minister said if that is not done, she would be obliged to engage procedures, without further notice or deadline, to ensure the respect of law No 2000/011 of 19 December 2000 relating to authors’ rights as well as its text of application.
In a similar letter addressed to Prof. Jean Calvin Oyono Aba’a, who was the head of the electoral commission when Eyango was elected, the Minister indicated that the validation of the candidatures [by the electoral commission] seemingly failed to take into account the exigencies of the statute of SOCAM and in particular article 4 of the electoral code bordering on Cameroonian nationality required of the candidates.
Prof. Oyono Aba’a, who was also ordered to submit a report on the issue signed by all the members of the commission within 48 hours upon reception of the correspondence, was on December 17 suspended by the Minister for three months for failing to respect ethics and deontology in the discharge of his duties.
It should be recalled that on November 25, 2013, barely three weeks after Prince Ndedi Eyango was elected SOCAM Board Chair, a group of artists staged a strike action in the premises of the institution alleging that Eyango has American nationality. 
Addressing the irate artists on that November 25, Ama Tutu had said she wrote to the US Embassy officials in Cameroon for verification on the issue and was waiting for a reply. 
From the Minister’s December 13 correspondence, it is apparent that the claim of Eyango’s American nationality is turning out to be true especially as there are also allegations that his candidature to run as a Councillor in one of the Councils in the Moungo Division was rejected because of his American nationality.
One of the artists who spoke to The Post under a covered identity said a photocopy of Eyango’s passport in their keeping indicates that he is an American citizen while a copy of his Cameroonian national identity card expired in 2011. 
He said each time one acquires a foreign nationality, that of Cameroon is automatically renounced.
Talking on the issue on Equinox TV, a Barrister Jean Noel Tamekue, said a section of the 1968 Federal Law states that anyone who acquires the nationality of another country automatically loses that of Cameroon. 
He said that section of the law is silent on double nationality.
Observers are blaming the numerous Cameroonians who acquired foreign nationalities and are still occupying top positions in the country on administrative tolerance. 
They argue that it is time true Cameroonians are given the opportunity to govern their country.

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