Cameroon’s Ministry of Defence has disassociated itself from some Cameroonian soldiers arrested in Togo for an attempted act of armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons.
The sticky-fingered soldiers, and other gang members were caught in Togo’s capital, Lome, on Wednesday, May 20 by the Togolese Judicial Police.
According to a MINDEF Communiqué, the five suspects of Cameroonian nationality were detained for allegedly trying to use a firearm to snatch a heavy-duty vehicle. The statement also said, on-board the vehicle, was a Togolese businessman, and that the soldiers and their gang carried out the act in order to satisfy an obscure order.
Going by MINDEF’s press release, “Initial investigations conducted by the competent services of the Ministry of Defence have revealed that the three soldiers who are notoriously dishonest with the Service and presumed to have contributed or directly participated in the incriminated acts have already been clearly identified.”
The Head of the Communication Division at MINDEF, Captain De Frégate Atonfack Guemo, says their investigations reveal that the three soldiers include, “Private First Class Essimbi Francis (service number T15/24250), previously serving at the Headquarters Brigade. The latter had been placed at the disposal of the Territorial Gendarmerie Brigade of Melen in Yaoundé, on 6 March, 2020, for the loss of an important piece of equipment, 1 automatic pistol. He was the subject of flagrante delicto report (Report No. 192/2020 of 11 March 2020), before being remanded in custody by the Military Prosecutor at the Yaoundé Military Court at the Yaoundé Military Prison, for violating orders and dissipatingmilitary equipment. Born on 23 September 1995 in Mbassam II, in the Soa Subdivision, and holder of Identity Card No. 100957911 of 21 February 2019 in Yaoundé;
“Sergeant Oumarou Abou Fadil (service number T11/16829 ), previously working at the Headquarters Brigade, declared deserted since 23 March 2020 (Official Telegram No. 200068/MP/RMIA1/BQG/1st BI of 19 March 2020), for having, without authorisation or relief, left his sentry post at the National Printing Press, taking with him his package, without arms or ammunition. He was born on 1st January 1988 in Garoua, and holder of Identity Card No. 1147884866 of 3rd March 2013 in Yaoundé;
“Petty Officer Eoundjo Elle Serges Hubert (service number 11/13478), born on 4th November 1989 in Sangmélima, holder of Identity Card No. 1104229338 of 5th January 2011 in Sangmélima, previously serving in the National Navy. The desertion procedure initiated against him at the time is still under away.”
Captain De Frégate Atonfack Guemo notes that investigations have established that the alleged gang leader, Ntanga Mogo Clement Didier alias “Tony”, born on 19 September 1988 in Yaoundé, and holder of Identity Card No. 110724721, issued on 29 September 2010 in Yaoundé,
He described the gang leader as a dangerous convicted gang member, a multi-recidivist, sentenced several times to prison terms, and currently wanted by the Judicial Police Directorate in Yaoundé, which has registered several complaints of citizens abused by him.”
What is not clear is whether Cameroon will request for the extradition of these ex-servicemen for trial at home.