A hardened bandit Elvis Ngala, was roasted to death last October 27, 2009 by a furious mob in Tabenken village in Nkambe Central sub-Division. He was roasted after stabbing Edwin Nchuli Samba to death. It is told that Elvis Ngala, widely known in the area as ‘Terror of Night’ because of his cruel nocturnal activities, broke into one Pa Vincent Kanjo Nchanji's house around the Tabenken Market at around 3 a.m. The over 60 years old man raised an alarm. One of the first neighbors to rush to Pa Vincent Nchanji's house for rescue was Edwin Nchuli Samba, a businessman and a store owner at the Tabenken Market.
Edwin Nchuli reportedly gripped the bandit around the waist in the store and shouted for help. Te bandit pulled out his knife and stabbed Edwin Nshuli's right breast. The victim collapsed crying for help to no avail.
After the macabre act, Elvis then tore the plywood ceiling, climbed the rafters and with the knife, he tore open the zinc and emerged on top of the roof. He then skipped on a nearby roof and then landed on the ground and took to his heels. Those who rushed to the scene, maddened by Edwin's death tracked down the bandit some 400 m from the scene. He was given snake beatings. A the knife and locally-made pistol were seized from him and shattered to pieces.
As the crowd of wailing and furious mob swelled up, they resolved to burn him alive. Tyres were worn around him and petrol smeared on him and set ablaze. Some frightened and concerned youths at about 4 a.m. drove to the Nkambe and reported the matter to Gendarmarie Brigade Commander, Peter Osogo. With only one Gendarme and aware that Elvis Ngala was a gang leader he charged some youths in various groups and assigned them in the various quarters to track down some of the gang-members he was already hinted of.
To his greatest surprise the youths turned around and did not go anywhere. He said their lack of cooperation spirit with the forces of law and order was no surprise because 'the Tabenken people were fond of concealing criminals'. The Brigade Commander said it was under strain that he succeeded to arrest two of the accomplices: Divine Tangwa alias Dibungo (20 years) and Eugene Tanto Tamfu (25 years) whom the people wanted to seize from them to burn. The Gendarme Commander pleaded that they were members of a gang and not part of that morning's bloody act and that he wanted to use them to get the other gang members who have been terrorizing the area.
Eric Nfor, one of them was also caught by some youths and brought to the brigade. At the Nkambe Gendamarie brigade, Elvis Ngala's concubine, one Maris Nformi Nyeh had been arrested and detained some two weeks earlier over the burglary of one Julius Nemnjei's store where he lost over 1.6 million. Some of the stolen items had been found in her house. She had confided that they had been brought in by Elvis Ngala, her lover who was at large.
When the news of Edwin Nshuli's murder reached the Brigade, the Commander immediately confided in her and she named some of the gang members. Talking to The Vanguard in her cell she repeated the list: Divine Tangwa alias Dibungo, Eugen Tanto Tamfu, Eric Nfor (those with her at the lock out already) and a certain Prosper she said lived in misaje and two others who reside in Bamenda - all of them from Tabenken.
Maris Nformi Nyeh revealed to The Vanguard at the Gendamerie that Elvis Ngala was a hardened thief. She said Elvis' gang had been behind all the banditry operations in Tabenken, Ngie and Njap villages and had often operated in other towns like Nkambe and Bamenda.
She disclosed that they were those who broke into Julius Wemnjei's store and made away with FCFA 1.6 million which they shared in her house. In another store in neighboring Njap village they brought two cartons of soap, uncountable number of lotions and other items which he went and sold in Bamenda. She hinted that in one of their last operations, he brought back some CFAF 700,000 for her to keep but two days later he collected it to Bamenda leaving her with 10,000frs.
Maris Njeh regretted her love deal with the bandit complaining that it had strained relationship with her family members. She conjectured that Elvis Ngala used charm on her. She said if given the chance she would advise young women or girls to shun at all cost any man whose wealth is through unclean means. She said the experience was too ugly, quite disgraceful, stigmatizing and too bearing on one's family and person: “In the soup now, I can advise my other sisters better and to tell young men that stealing is the worst profession to think of.”
In Tabenken, with the roasting of Elvis Ngala the people heaved a big sigh of relief. The people said they had suffered a lot of threats and torture from the bandit. One of them confided that on the last market day, Elvis shot at one young man in the market in broad day light for daring to betray his activities but missed. The young man escaped.
Some residents who talked to The Vanguard blamed the protection of the dead bandit on the Fon of Tabenken. They said he had been doing everything to always favor and protect the highway robber who happened to be his nephew. He was also faulted for never collaborating with his people especially when banditry operations were reported to him.
Although the Fon of Tabenken was not on seat at the time of the incidence, some of his close aids condemned the allegations on the grounds that the Fon had written a complaint about the insecurity in his village to the Administration.
They confided that some elements of the Gendarmerie were putting on some masks in the banditry operations in the area. The Brigade Commander said he had few elements and knew them so well. He said accusing the forces of Law and order was but their continuous habit of hiding criminals. He cited a certain Damian Tabah alias Ngum, a notorious cattle rustler whom the entire village knew but they had always helped to thwart their moves in tracking him down. He added that the Second Deputy Mayor of Nkambe, Mrs. Florence Njobe, a native of Tabenken was aggressed by the said Elvis Ngala but she turned down their invitation to give them details about it.
The S.D.O. for Donga-Mantung, Mr. Biwan Nchaffu who expressed his condolence to the unfortunate family that lost their innocent son, strongly condemned the act and frowned at the Tabenken inhabitants for the uncooperative attitude especially towards their own well-being. He charged that if Edwin Nshuli had not been murdered the administration would not have heard about the robbery. The SDO exhorted the people to give maximum collaboration to the forces of law and order and the Administration for sake of their own security and development. He vowed that peace must reign in Donga-Mantung at all costs. While Elvis Ngala's ashes were disposed of, the corpse of Edwin Nshuli Samba was conveyed to the Nkambe District Mortuary pending some burial arrangement. Edwin Nshuli Samba leaves behind a young wife and kid, his parents, relatives and friends to mourn him.
By our news desk, Wamey Panky