Cameroon - Cameroon presidential aspirant Marafa Hamidou Yahya and former Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni detained for an investigation into the 2004 purchase of a presidential plane name “Albatross”, are only victims of political machination. The focal point is Etoudi, a source has hinted Vanguard.
Hamidou Yaha was minister of Territorial Administration until he was sacked in December in a cabinet reshuffle by President Paul Biya. He was still widely seen as harbouring ambitions to succeed the 79-year-old Biya, reasons why Biya has caged him.
He arrest and detention has nothing to do with Albatross .The press have it all wrong. An investigation by Vanguard now put the records straight before Cameroonians
Why Marafa has no case concerning the Albatross. His arrest is related to his alleged ambitions to become president after Biya. France had earlier on indicated open support for Marafa.
How it happened
The Head of State instructed him to buy a new plane for the presidency at the time he was Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic. Marafa reportedly contacted Yve Mitchel Fotso the hitherto Director General of CAMAIR (Cameroon Air Lines) to source a company to render the service to the state.
Yve Fotso reportedly contacted an American Company CIA to look for the plan on behalf of Cameroon Air Line. The company GIA reported received CFA 31 million Dollars an equivalent of 29 billions for the purchase of the plane. The said sum was paid by SNH Cameroon to GIA for purchase of the plane from Boen Company for the manufacture of B.B.J plane for Cameroon’s Head of State. BBJ means Boen Business Jet.
It should be noted president Paul Biya could not have bought the plane directly, given that Cameroon was blocked by IMF from purchasing any new plane due to the precarious economic state of the nation at the time. That explains why Biya camouflaged under CAMAIR to obtain the plane. Note should also be taken that the SNH is said to have paid the said amount directly to the Boeing Company not through Marafa.
When Marafa was appointed Minister of Territorial Administration, Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara replaced him as Secretary General at the Presidency and Board Chair of SNH. He reportedly cancelled the B.B. jet business project on grounds that it was expensive.
When the manufacture of the plane was completed, Jean Marie Atangana refused to collect the plane insisting that it was very expensive. He then annulled the deal and convinced the Head of State to go for an old plane far less than BB jet. The Head of State reported gave his accord and Jean Atangana then sourced an old plane called Albatross. Unfortunately, the Head of State after a test flight discovered that the plane was faulty. He asked that the plane be sent back to the company.
It is however not clear whether the money has been refunded to Cameroon government through the then Cameroon Ambassador to USA Jerome Mendouga now in Kondengui for involvement in the deal.
Yve Fotso’s involvement
Yve Fotso is reportedly said to have been a share holder of the American company GIA that mediated the purchase of BBJ plane. It all happened when Marafa was no longer at the presidency. How then is he involve it Albatross? This is question pundits are asking.
This is another complicated case and his involvement is obnoxious. Chief Ephraim was never associated with the BBJ plane issue which Marafa was mandated to buy, pundits have argued. He was not also associated with the Albatross plane deal which Jean Marie Atangana bought. His problem stems from when the 2nd Assistant Secretary General at the presidency Rene Awana’s nephew created a company to represent APM London in Cameroon. He then appointed Chief Inoni as Chairman of APM Cameroon whereas APM London Director General was Kaven Walls. Kaven reportedly had a deal with Jean Marie Atangana to be buying crude oil and lease planes and equipment in Cameroon. He then awarded a contract to recover debts of defunct CAMAIR. This contract was signed with the then Minister of Transport John B. Ndeh representing Cameroon government on alleged instruction of the SG at the presidency Jean-Marie Atangana. Cameroon government reportedly paid CFA 287 million to the Managing Director of APM London; Kaven Walls to enable him recovers the debts. Kaven collected the money and left, and never came back to render account of his assignment. Till date, no body knows his where about as he has never come back.
Inoni’s problem here is that the magistrate is saying that if APM Cameroon was representing APM London of Kaven Wall, and Inoni as chairman of APM Cameroon represented by Awona’s nephew as General Manager already in Kodengui, Inoni should produce Kaven. The controversy here is that, Inoni was not at the signing of the contract, since it did not constitute part of job specification of APM Cameroon. Moreso, he was not the signatories of the debt recovery contract contracted with Cameroon government under the auspices of John B Nde hitherto Minister of Transport and Kaven Walls director of APM London, who was based in London. APM Cameroon was limited buying of crude oil and lease planes and equipment in Cameroon, not recovering debts for CAMAIR. The person who signed the contract on behalf of Cameroon government was John B. Ndeh and Kaven Walls Director of APM London not Inoni. Why bordering him to produce Kaven.
Enters John B. Nde
John B. Ndeh is being criticized for having signed the contract without consulting the PM, Head of Government. A source has hinted that he did it under duress by the then SG at the presidency. It is alleged that he posseses written document to justify his claims.
John B. Ndeh’s adversaries are arguing that he, J. B. Ndeh, ought to have been a co-accused not a prosecution witness because if he had not signed the contract Kaven Walls could not have collected the money from finance. But could he have contacted the PM to disobey the almighty SG of the presidency of the Republic, given that Anglophones are the underdogs of the country? Does an Anglophone PM have powers in this country? pundits are asking.
In reality, Inoni never signed any contract and no money passed through him. Chief Inoni was 1st Deputy Secretary General at the Presidency at the time.