Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam has been suspended from his duties as a priest of the Catholic Church since the 3rd of March 2019.
Today, he lives in his native Banjoun village in the west region of Cameroon pending results of an investigation on accusation of practicing pedophilia.
News of his accusations has alienated many friends and family members from a priest that has been in the vocation for close to twenty years.
He lives almost in isolation though some family members still believe in his integrity and God’s intervention.
The priest has intentionally disconnected himself from the social media to safe the pains of trauma and insults from parishioners and others that have heard the story.
Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam says “…I was prevented from carrying out my priestly duties at Saint Maximilien Kolbe de Bamendou Catholic Church on the 3rd of March 2019 but was officially served a letter of suspension on the 16th of March to leave the parish. Since then, I am patiently waiting for the end of investigation.It is difficult for me but I have no choice”
Following a virginity test conducted on the supposed fifteen years old victim (*names withheld) at the radiology and imagery medical Centre in Bafoussam and signed by Dr.Emmanuel Doumbe Mouen, she is a virgin and has never been penetrated.
In another medical check at “Clinique de la Solidaritè” still in Bafoussam,Dr. Mpaba Bargama Rodir attest the virginity of the little girl.
According to the supposed sexually assaulted girl, “I don’t know anything about the rumor that father Jean Baptiste Pouokam raped me. I was only informed by a man who lives in our neighborhoods about the incident. The medical test conducted on me shows that I am still a virgin. My worry now is that Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam is suffering for what he knows nothing about”
Lucienne, biological mother of the girl Who championed the medical examination procedure said: “the priest is being accused for nothing for having sex with my daughter. I have taken her to two different hospitals and the medical results say she has never been penetrated. Why should people and Christians involve my daughter in such a dubious deal?”
Life of Daughter and Mother in danger:
The victim, and her mother Tsobgo Lucienne at the moment are seeking refuge in an undisclosed locality in the west region of Cameroon.
The two left Bamendou immediately after medical examination proofed that the little girl is still a virgin, meaning she was never assaulted sexually by the priest.
After the departure of the priest from Bamendou, the suspected group of boys began throwing stones on the roof of the poor woman with death threatening messages on both the mother and the daughter. The boys are accusing the woman for urging the daughter to testify in favor of the Father Jean Baptiste Pohokam.
Parishioners of Saint Maximilien Kolbe de Bamendou Catholic church in the west region of Cameroon are divided over the issue of the practice of pedophilia by Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam.
In a letter dated March 10th 2019 the parish, addressed to Bishop Dieudonne Watio and copied to other appropriate quarters, Bishop of Bafoussam, Christians of the parish of Saint Maximilien Kolbe de Bamendou explained the leadership lapses they have been experiencing since the suspension of Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam for an alleged sexual scandal.
In the three page letter signed by six different head of services in the parish, the Christians explain how some unscrupulous, misguided people of bad faith masterminded the shameful incident of sexual assault just to get rid of the priest.
To the Christians, the boys stormed the parish on day with objects accusing the priest of rape, the dismissal of a school teacher and revendicating the appointment of a legitimate son of Bamendou to run the parish.
Other sources in Bamendou parish indicate that certain Serge, a former classmate of Father Jean Baptiste Pouokam in the seminary has always wanted to ruin the priest.
The said Serge is mentioned to have generated the rumor to run down the image of the priest in question and consequently get him dismissed from his priesthood.
According to a message read to parishioners by Bishop Dieudonne Watio of Bafoussam on Thursday March 21st, the church hierarchy has opened investigation to get to the root cause of the issue.
Some Christians of the church have been criticizing the Bishop for what they describe as a hasty decision to suspend the priest without preliminary investigation on the matter. For them, getting the version of the little girl, her mother and the priest before any decision of suspension will have been logical.
Dominic Meme Nwakimo
Mimi Mefo Info