By David Atangana
Philemon Mbale, a practicing journalist in Limbe, Fako division of the South West region of Cameroon is still languishing in detention at Fako gendarmerie Compagne, despite efforts made to see him regain freedom.
A statement from Cameroon Journalists Trade Union, CJTU,South West chapter has said, Mbale was arrested and detained at the Gendamerie Compagne, Fako, on Saturday, October 8 2022, following a controversy over the ownership of the Facebook page of Victoria United Football Club.
The Club president is said to be wanting Mbale to hand to the club, all login information to the social media page.
A peace deal brokered by CJTU Chapter President for the South West region failed to yield the most needed results with Mbale remaining in detention.
“The President of CJTU-SW, Inès -danielle SOB epse ONDOA BALLA, together with the heads of other journalism associations spent over eight hours this Monday, October 10, 2022, trying to broker for a peaceful settlement out of this quagmire, to no avail,” a statement from CJTU said.
According to report, the demands of the president of Victoria United FC, Bobdidy, were made with hopes that the detained journalist will regain freedom on Monday.
“All of that was handed to the club management with proofs, on Sunday, October 9, 2022. All parties agreed to reassemble before the detention facility on Monday, October 10 2022, to finalise all formalities and then proceed with an amicable split” CJTU added, saying that: “This was done with a peaceful exchange of the Facebook page login information of Victoria United FC, between the Belgian based page creator, Emmanuel Bryant, and the Management of the club, represented by the Manager, Joel Abanda, and team Press Officer, Dean Mongo Eyeh.”
This exchange was reportedly facilitated by the President of CJTU-SW, Inès -danielle SOB epse ONDOA BALLA, the President of the Cameroon Association of Sports Journalists (CASJ), Abong Clextus, the President of CAMASEJ Limbe, Kuma Honore, A hired IT expert, Ngu Stephen, and an online participation from the President of CAMASEJ Douala Chapter, Maureen Ndi.
The matter, however, took a new twist following objections from the complainant, dashing hopes for Mbale’s release.
“Just when the gendarmes were about releasing Philemon, there was a sudden pause and later, retwist of events. The elements later informed the delegation, Philemon cannot be released and that the delegation gets to the complainant,” CJTU’s statement said.
Bobdidy allegedly told the journalists delegation that Mbale had not equally handed the Facebook account used in creating the page.
Bobdidy was adamant despite being told that that the page does not need a particular account to run.
“He is bent on keeping Philemon Mbale in detention in spite having all the initial claims cleared,” CJTU lamented.
Meanwhile, the gendarmes promised to present Philemon Mbale before the State Counsel of Limbe this Tuesday October 11, 2022.
According to Yannick Ndeley, Communication secretary of CJTU-SW, the chapter president,” is is seeking the collective opinion of comrades to seek the best pathway to securing the immediate release of Philemon Mbale, since all other pacific measures have proofed futile.”
(C) Mimi Mefo Mefo