A report published by Reporters Without Borders has revealed that the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso, ordered the gruesome murder of journalist Martinez Zogo.
Based on the report, Minister Laurent Esso’s accomplices in the heinous crime include Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, Vision 4 owner, as well as the Director of Cameroon’s secret service, Leopold Maxime Eko and his deputy Justin Danwe.
Terming Zogo’s killing a state crime, RSF said more than 20 members of Cameroon’s General Directorate for External Investigations (DGRE) have been arrested, including Leopold Maxime Eko Eko, DGRE boss, in line with the crime.
The RSF report published on Friday, February 3, is based on a “shocking statement” made by Justin Danwe, Director of Special Operations at the DGRE.
“In confessions that he hand-wrote during his interrogation, and which RSF has seen, he provides a detailed account of the gruesome operation to silence Zogo and he emerges as the head of the unit that carried it out. Lt. Col. Danwe recognises his involvement and says he told his superior. His account shows that Zogo’s murder was a state crime,” RSF wrote.
“He provides a detailed description of how Zogo was followed for a week, in order to establish the pattern of his movements, until his abduction on the evening of 17 January by DRGE members including Danwe, who was the one in charge. Zogo was reportedly taken to a building under construction that belongs to Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, a powerful businessman who Zogo had accused of embezzlement.
“According to Danwe’s confession, Belinga himself then beat Zogo in the basement of his building and telephoned justice minister Laurent Esso, to whom he is close, to ask him what Zogo’s fate should be. Esso, who is one of the most powerful members of the government, allegedly responded that Belinga should ‘finish the job’ to avoid a repetition of the case of Paul Chouta, a journalist who was beaten last year by a mysterious group of assailants who were never unidentified,” the RSF report read.
The stunning revelations published by Reporters Without Borders comes after the government announced that several people had been arrested in connection with the killing of Martinez Zogo.
The journalist was abducted on January 17, killed and his mutilated body, in a near state of decomposition, was dumped at Soa on the outskirts of Yaounde on January 22.
Pressure has been mounting on the Biya Government to investigate and prosecute his killers.
The journalist was killed at a time he was investigating an alleged embezzlement case against Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, a pro-regime billionaire and CEO of Anecdote media group, which owns Vision 4 television.
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