A young IT specialist has been released after he was ‘kidnapped’ and allegedly tortured by security forces in Bamenda, North West region.
“I visited Bamenda last week and my stay there was hell. Looking clean and expensive was my crime,” he said. “A soldier stopped me and asked me to identify myself. I did, but he stayed with my ID card and did not want to return it.”
“I asked what was his rationale for keeping my personal document, and he said I should give him my phone. I denied because that’s my private property, but he threatened to gun me down and pen down a report that I am an ‘Amba’,” the IT Specialist has told Mimi Mefo Info. “After several arguments with his colleagues, another said I am even using a phone worth his 6 months salary and that I stole money to purchase the device.”
He furthers: “Knowing I have a legitimate source of revenue, I didn’t say a word since I understood they were hungry.
“Another soldier said I should input my mobile money pin for them to verify my account balance. I was so furious and asked them to present a search warrant.
“This provoked another who hit me with his gun. They forced me into their car and drove off with me to Below Foncha where I was detained.
“They requested that I pay a bail fee of 1,000,000 XAF or they would kill and dump me there. I was detained for over 8 hours as my brother sought money to bail me.
“We finally gave them 300,000 FCFA after I was brutalized and accused of being a scammer without proof.
“I told them that I am an IT specialist and a Telecommunications consultant yet they did not believe.
“Please this has been going on in Bamenda and Buea where young guys are always maltreated and money extorted from them. Those that took part in eating my hard earned money will pay for it severely spiritually!”
The experience of the IT specialist is not different from many young people in Buea. Defence and security forces commander by Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai have been torturing and extorting money from innocent civilians.
The Second District Police Station in Molyko headed at the time by Commissioner Nana Ngongang Roger was specialised in harassing people in their homes and extorting money.
The mixed security team at Mile 16, Mile 14 and Missellele are also known to haras travelers, searching their phones without warants and extorting huge sums of money.
“On Saturday, the Governor drove past at Mile 14 while security officers were harassing innocent travellers just because they either have expensive phones or are dressed expensively. The governor passed as though nothing was wrong as if to show his role in the actions of overzealous security forces,” a source told Mimi Mefo Info.
Mimi Mefo Info