It remains unclear what could be the fate of the renown Cameroonian writer, if he had unveiled the story of his arrest and detention when Mebe Ngo’o was still at the helm of the Defence Ministry.
In a detailed piece, the scholar has taken time to explain how he was arrested and detained incommunicado in Bertoua, before his transfer to Kondengui over one month after.
He says the incarcerated former Minister, accused him of trying to plot a coup against the Biya regime.
It all began at the Nsimalen International Airport in November 2011. I was getting off a Kenyan Airways flight from Singapore via Bangkok and Nairobi. At the level of the police controls, I discovered with amazement two gendarmes standing at a corner of the room with a photograph of me which was on my bedroom, in their hands. How is it possible? I asked!
Immediately, they advanced towards me and said:
« Mr. Enoh, you are under arrest, it will be needless for you to resist.. » I was ferried to the police station at the airport where they underwent a thorough search on me.
I travelled to buy arms and recruit mercenaries in Singapore, alleged.
Then I was escorted by three pickups from the gendarmerie to the SED. At any traffic holdup, the other vehicles will give us way. Upon arrival at SED, I was informed that I went to buy arms in Singapore and recruit mercenaries to launch a coup against Paul Biya. « The MINDEF and Head of State in person closely monitor this case, » i was told.
They said the search at the airport, was to recover the rest of the millions I traveled with.
Unfortunately, I had only 70 euros on me, about 50,000 F CFA.
I stripped naked for another search at the SED as required by the « investigators », this time I was ordered to undress completely, like the « Adam’s out ». I tried to resist. But I understood that they were not joking.
I obeyed, without failing to remind them that the nudity of an adult seen by young people like them, is a curse. » Shut up! « . That was their response.
After staring at me, they suddenly become kind to me. They advise me to reveal « without resistance » the place where I hid the weapons for the coup d’état in preparation, and that my « accomplices » have already « confessed everything ». In addition, I was « advised » to spontaneously deliver the names of « colonels » with whom I am in contact for the fatal case.
By doing so, « the gendarmerie will help me in the continuation of the case ». Again, I was asked to confess « spontaneously » that I sent people to burgle at Bétaré-Oya in preparation of the coup.
There is no way I can confess to a crime I didn’t commit… It was also revealed to me that a search was conducted at my home, for weapons of war that I had kept there.
Subsequently, I met that policeman named Edou who broke my main door and all those in the bedrooms, the house was ransacked, all my documents were taken: my birth certificate, all my manuscripts, all my USB keys, it is in this process that they got in possession of my picture to arrest me as the plane touched down the Nsimalen International Airport.
QUESTION ON INFRASTRUCTURE: A TOTAL DISSOLUTION
I spent the night at the SED in a cell. The next day, in the evening, I was removed from the cell, and found myself in front of 2 colonels, 2 lieutenant colonels, the small and ill-mannered lieutenant who had asked me the day before to undress, named Teto Ghislain, and 2 other NCOs. Among them was the commander of the Bertoua Gendarmerie Legion, and the Deputy Director of Military Security, SEMIL.
From 8:00pm to 11:00pm, for three long hours, I was questioned. The had the same accusations: « my accomplices had already confessed everything, I must in turn reveal the place where I hid the arms for the coup, my complicities abroad, including Singapore where I was, and in addition, the names of the colonels with whom I am in contact and said, the gendarmerie will help me in the continuation of the affair, I can even be released immediately if I collaborate… » Of course, I knew they were all cooked up stories.
The interrogation yielded no fruits, since I did not have any weapons.
I was informed that it was the Bertoua gendarmerie legion commander carrying out the interrogation who arrested me at Nsimalen on the orders of Mebe Ngo’o.
I also learnt that they are both friends. He is a « northerner » born and raised in Sangmelima, and speaks Bulu. His whole family is there: his father, his mother and all his younger brothers. It is from Sangmelima that he entered EMIA after a college in the city. Who reveals all this to me? The deputy director of SEMIL, dispatched particularly by Mebe Ngo’o, who is waiting for him at his office at the Ministry of Defence, for final report « whatever time it ends … » He said he knows me and appreciates me enormously through my articles.
He went on to tell me: « MINDEF and this individual are currently in bad shape; how can a commander of the gendarmerie legion from Bertoua want to meddle in coup d’etat affairs in Yaounde, is it within his competence? It is up to us to do it, behold, he had lost the zeal; he thought, through your arrest, he will be promoted general, it is a failure; MINDEF (Mebe Ngo’o) and he informed the Head of State that they came across a ploy to overthrow him which involved dozens of colonels and you as a leader; we saw nothing after searching your home.
Here is nothing of it; no weapons, no cartridges… ».
The gentleman greeted me warmly, wishing me good luck, and added: « you will need to be careful because now they will accuse you of another offence to safe their image to the Head of State, as that of the coup d’etat failed…
He revealed to me that he is going to hand over the report to MINDEF, Mebe Ngo’o, for conclusions …
From the window of the interrogation room, I saw in the dark the famous legion commander on the phone, obviously in total embarrassment.
The discussion was long…Then, when the conversation finally ended, he placed his hands on his hips, lowered his head, started to look at the floor, and very pensive …
DEPORTATION TO BERTOUA: ORDER TO « KILL » ME ON THE ROAD AND TO THROW MY BODY IN THE BUSH.
At about 11:45pm, I was called. I saw my bag taken by the gendarmes in Nsimalen. I was presented with a large open register in which I was asked to sign after verifying that the contents of my statement was intact. « We are handing you to the Legion gendarmerie Bertoua. » I did not understand what was going on. I refuse to sign, because I do not want to go to Bertoua, it’s in Yaoundé that I live, I do not know anyone in this city. « You do not have a choice, sir, I was told … » As I refused, I was installed in the gendarmerie pickup vehicle with five armed gendarmes and took off for Bertoua.
By 3:000am, while we had covered a long distance, I needed to use the toilet.
I informed my « champions » and the car stopped
Three of them followed me as I got into the nearby bush, I got scared as I heard the noise of the trigger. I concluded that my fate was sealed.
I saw myself being killed as Patrice Lumumba. My heart stopped beating fast.
I was terribly overwhelmed by fear and I started trembling.
But at the same time, curiously enough, I began to feel light, light, light, almost floating in the air. I was ready to die. To live at the same time as my father whose body is at the morgue in Ebolowa. He died shortly before I left for Singapore, and I decided to come and take care of his funeral when I returned. The all-black sky suddenly became bright. I was ready to die, to leave this world, to see my mother who has been dead for 7 years, she is smiling, full of life, I am happy for her … Suddenly I heard: « you ease yourself for how long? « The sky suddenly turned black, My mother was no longer there, I was alive again.
30 minutes later, we arrived Bertoua, a city I knew when I was in high school. We entered the gate of the gendarmerie legion. « Get down sir ». Once on the premises, the policeman on duty hastens to answer his phone calls: « the boss (the colonel commander of the Legion remained in Yaounde), did not stop calling every ten minutes asking if we had arrived, and gave orders to be informed immediately. » After a moment: « I’m at your disposal Colonel … yes they just arrived … yes with a gentleman in glasses and white hair … yes … I say yes my colonel … yes … yes, he is sitting in front of me … you want to talk to him … ok … I put him in a cell … at your orders my colonel … my respects my Colonel … »
Later, I learnt that an argument ensued amongst my « companions » shortly before our departure from the SED.
They were ordered to « Kill » me on the way, throw my body in the Nyong and Akonolinga or in the bush after undressing me, so that I could not be identified. (that’s probably what they did later with the unfortunate priest of Bafia), and to arrive Bertoua without me. It was then that one of them, a man named N…, objected: « if we execute this order, this case will fall back on us, it will be a big state affair, the SED will declare that he gave it to us with discharge in the custody record; The colonel or the MINDEF should come and kill him themselves, they know how to use weapons not so? « . When I asked to ease myself 30 minutes before Bertoua, one of the gendarmes had nevertheless wanted to carry out the order and had me immediately put in play with his rifle to shoot, N … had in turn raised his weapon, and also put it in play … That explains the murmur-debate I heard from behind…
Why my physical elimination? To be clean in front of Paul Biya, who was waiting for the results of the investigation. It was enough to declare to him: « this madman was killed when he wanted to take action. »
27 days after my arrival at the Gendarmerie Legion, in custody, Paul Biya got the news and needed updates: « where is the case of the coup plotter with the son of Meyomesse? SED responds: « he was taken to Bertoua by the Gendarmerie Legion ». Surprise, the President of the Republic who already suspected a fishy game said: « Why? was he going to organize his coup d’etat there? « . It turns out that he knew my parents personally and had not at any time believed in the story of a possible coup that Mebe Ngo’o had told him. He also knew that my father had died, and he had sent his condolences to my family. He ordered for a counter-investigation, and entrusted it to one of his security services …
ENOH WE ARE LOOKING FOR STORIES …
Monday, December 19th, 2011, A Legion Constable entered furiously into my cell where I detained in total darkness since my arrival 27 days before and where I cohabited with my excrement bucket, unbearable smell .. « We are looking for stories, the Presidency has called to ask why we are detaining you here … What you are doing here is not good. » He closed the metal door of the cell.
On December 20, 2011, the same policeman returned « Why are you alerting the press about your presence here? Huh? The local correspondent of the daily Newspaper, Le Jour came to ask if you are detained here, watch out!! »
Wednesday 21 December 2011 in the morning. My « accomplices » and I came out of our cells, I finally saw the light of day, what an immense joy! The interrogations took place the night after 10:00pm, so no way to see the sun. During this process, I learnt that I procured the sum of 180,000 FCFA to acquire a rifle in Garoua-Boulaye to carryout and arm robbery operation. I was asked to bring the rifle seller so, he could be detained with us as a weapons supplier to robbers. We had signed large volumes of documents without knowing the contain.
VISIT OF GOVERNOR LELE L’AFRIQUE: PRESENTATION TO THE MEDIA
Then, we are informed that governor Lélé Lafrique will come shortly to visit us. We were brought back to the cell. They asked if I needed to call and I said I’m calling Domou Bergeline. I’m still calling two or three people. The door of the cell opened abruptly. « Give me this phone, » ordered a policeman. SED in Yaoundé, has just informed the legion that I am making phone calls. Then he rebels: « After you are leaving the legion tomorrow, you go back to Yaoundé ». It was good news for me.
BACK TO YAOUNDE: ENTRANCE INTO KONDENGUI
Thursday, December 22, 2011, 4-5:00 am in the morning, I heard a great commotion at the gendarmerie court. The door of my cell opens: « Get up, you are returning to Yaounde ». I found my « accomplices » already in the yard. Time was running. Finally, we left Bertoua around 6am. What a joy to see the sunlight. It was exactly 30 days since I saw it. (My eyes have been reached, it has increased my myopia, later in Kondengui, Bergelin Domou will get me money to buy new pair of glasses, this girl was extraordinary …) We are in two pickups. On the way, one of the gendarmes in my pickup made a terrible revelation: « MINDEF, Mebe Ngo’o, informed me on Monday that after the phone call from the presidency, the commander, panicked; there was no way to prove that you, Mr. Enoh, wanted to organize a coup d’état, he immediately ordered the latter to rather present you to the media as a bandit neutralized with his gang by the Legion of Gendarmerie. This explains the cinema that you suffered yesterday, it was necessary to preserve his credibility with the Head of State »
We arrived in Yaoundé around 12.30 pm after a long halt in Abong-Mbang where we were able to have a real breakfast, a kind of return to life, and we were taken to the Military Court. Then from there, we went back into the two pick-up, and headed to Kondengui.
I made my way into the prison on Thursday, December 22, 2011 around 14:30, and spent 40 months, exactly 3 years 4 months. Mebe Ngo’o, my executioner, meanwhile, entered 8 years later, Friday, March 8, 2019 at 11 pm. It will be his new home for at least 20 years, 240 months!!!! That is, 200 months more than me, if the judges have mercy on him.
The Word says, « Vengeance to me, retribution to me … » Romans 12:19.
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