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Ndedi Eyango Is A Fraudster 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai — Former Bar Council President, Barrister Charles Tchoungang, has described musical icon and producer, Pierre Adolphe Ndedi Eyango, as a fraudster. According to the lawyer, Ndedi Eyango acquired official documents to get himself elected as the Board Chair of the Cameroon Musical Corporation known by its French acronym as SOCAM.

Ndedi Eyango

Barrister Tchoungang made the statement while speaking on behalf of the Minister of Arts and Culture, MINAC, Ama Tutu Muna, at a press conference in Yaounde on January 13, on the ongoing wrangling following the nullification of the SOCAM Board where Ndedi Eyango is the Chair. Eyango and team members were elected during an extra-ordinary general assembly of SOCAM on November 2, 2013, and some three weeks later, complaints cropped up stating that Eyango has an American nationality.

The Minister had written to Eyango on December 13 stating that complaints received by her service “… 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.

“After cross-check 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 Articles 4 and 9 of your electoral code on Cameroonian nationality required of the candidates,” Ama Tutu Muna had stated.

It is worth noting that Article 4 of the electoral code of SOCAM states that “only people of Cameroonian nationality are legible to be Board Members of SOCAM.” Meanwhile, Article 36 recommends the cancellation of mandates of persons elected in violation of the text. The Minister had given Eyango 10 days to return to legality and following decision No 0060/MINAC/CAB of 23 December, 2013, the SOCAM Board was nullified on grounds that the fundamental texts of the Corporation were violated during the election.

Since that decision was taken, public opinion has been divided with some Cameroonians arguing that the law should be fully applied, while those who are against stiffly hold that the application of the law will affect many Cameroonians with foreign nationalities in top administrative positions in the country. The Eyango case has now brought to the limelight the thorny issue of double nationality in Cameroon.

It is against the backdrop of the wrangling that Barrister Tchoungang, who is also a lawyer representing the State of Cameroon, told journalists in Yaounde on January 13 that Eyango fraudulently got the documents to stand for election at SOCAM from administrative officials of his native Nkongsamba.

He argued that the officials might have issued the certificates of nationality and non-conviction, respectively, without prior knowledge of the fact that Eyango now has an American nationality. He announced that the State of Cameroon was putting up a case file against Eyango for fraud. If he is found guilty, he risks spending a 10-year jail term in prison.

Barrister Tchoungang then furnished journalists with a copy of the mail to Ama Tutu Muna from the Cameroonian Ambassador to the US in Washington D.C, Joseph Bienvenu Foé Atangana. In the letter No 002011/ACW/AC dated November 13, 2013, the Ambassador admitted that, after verification of the authenticity, it is true that Ndedi Eyango is holder of passport No 209292933 issued by the US Government in his capacity as an American citizen.

It notes further that the embassy issued [a tourist] visa No 03102/ACW/2009 on July 10, 2009, for a duration of three months to Eyango, stating that his stay in Cameroon up till now is illegal considering that the validity of the said visa had long expired.

In the face of the evolving debacle, Prince Ndedi Eyango and his team of lawyers made up of Barristers Amad Tijan Kouotou, Irène Ntetmen Mabune, Emmanuel Simh, Elame and André Duclair Mangoua; say they are unperturbed by what they termed intimidation by Barrister Tchoungang. They have maintained the resolve to challenge the Minister’s decision in a law court.

Following the Federal Law No 68-LF-3 of the 11th June 1968, section 31 states that Cameroonian nationality is lost or forfeited by “any Cameroon adult national who wilfully acquires or keeps a foreign nationality; renunciation under this law; any person who, occupying a post in a public service of an international or foreign body, retains that post notwithstanding an injunction by the Cameroonian Government to resign it.”

Section 32 (1) states that “a Cameroon woman marrying a foreigner shall retain her Cameroon nationality unless she expressly renounces it at the moment of marriage and in the manner prescribed by Sections 36 and following of this law.

The same Section (2) states that “she may declare without authorisation even if a minor. Provided always that no such declaration shall be valid, unless by her husband’s national law, the wife will or may acquire his nationality.” Section 33 maintains that “in all the foregoing cases, loss of Cameroon nationality frees from allegiance to Cameroon.”

First published in The Post print edition no 01497

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