Cameroon’s former Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, and former national police chief, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and wife, Bernadette Minla’a Nkoulou will not be returning home any time soon. Arrested and detained in 2019, their tenure behind bars have just been confirmed by the Yaounde Special Criminal Tribunal.
Serving many years as a top state official, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o’s luck started to run out in 2018 when he got kicked out of government. It would only spiral downwards from there, culminating in the 2023 sentence of him and his life partner.
They were slammed heavy jail terms, January 31, 2023, after being found guilty of a host of crimes, after spending four years behind bars. Mebe Ngo’o, found guilty of embezzling a whopping sum of 23.9 billion FCFA through overbilling of contracts was handed 30 years behind bars.
His wife, Bernadette Minla’a Nkoulou on her part, was found wanting for her complicity in the misappropriation of public funds of about 5 billion FCFA. The court condemned her to 10 years behind bars.
The couple who were once revered for the power and influence they wielded, did not go down alone. With them was Mebe Ngo’o’s former Deputy Head of the Military Secretariat, Colonel Ghislain Victor Mboutou, who according to The Guardian Post, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for complicity in the embezzlement of 16 billion FCFA.
A former treasury inspector, Leonard Mbangue, also got his share of the sentencing, as well as former Deputy General Manager of the Société Camerounaise de Banque, Victor Menye,who has handed a generous term of nine years by the court.
Mebe Ngo’o, aged 66, could have been handed more time behind bars, had he not beaten other charges brought up against him before the judge. The Guardian Post reports that the court exonerated the former minister of the alleged embezzlement of 196.8 billion FCFA under a financing agreement signed between the State of Cameroon and Chinese company, Poly-Technologies Inc for the delivery of military equipment, and the alleged embezzlement of 20.374 billion FCFA through special contracts allegedly overcharged and two decisions to release funds without documents.
It remains to be seen whether he and the other co-accused are going to appeal their sentences.
It had sparked outrage many months back when images of Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o drinking champagne in what appeared to be a court house, went viral online. With their ‘champagne’ party now over, Edgard Alain and wife have officially joined a host of other former top government officials now serving jail terms behind bars for malpractice in office.
Poise News Desk