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Sacked Minister Essimi Menye Denied Medical Evacuation 

By Basil Afoni

Essimi Menye

Essimi Menye, sacked Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Essimi Menye, who was dropped as Agriculture and Rural Development minister in a government shake-up on October 2, has been denied a medical trip abroad.

Cameroonian authorities refused a request from the former minister to travel abroad on the grounds that he was a flight risk because he is under criminal investigation for graft and corrupt practices, sources said.

We equally learnt from various sources that the former minister has been having serious health issues recently and even collapsed at his home on October 11. After his collapse, Essimi Menye was rushed to the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS) Hospital in Yaoundé where, sources say, he has since been under intensive care.

After he was sacked as minister, we learnt, Essimi Menye’s doctor advised him to take bed rest as a result of his health situation.

Media reports say Essimi Menye is expected to answer questions at the Special Criminal Court in Yaoundé on embezzlement of public funds during his time in office. This pertains to two cases. The first case against him involves the sum of FCFA 50 million of embezzled money at the defunct Cameroon Tobacco Company (SCT), in which he is suspected of playing a role. The second involves suspected criminal dealings in the liquidation of Amity Bank, during which about FCFA 9 billion was paid under murky circumstances to Atlantic Bank that took over the debts of the troubled bank.

Also, according to media reports, other former Ministers such as Bernard Messengue Avom of Public Works and Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam of Post and Telecommunications, among others, could be the next targets to appear before the Special Criminal Court to answer questions on graft-related charges.