PoliceNgongang Case – Defence Case Opens

Slowly but steadily, the case pitting the State of Cameroon and the Delegation of National Security (DGSN) against Ngongang Yves Marie will come to an end. Ngongang Yves Marie, former Chief of Post, Identification Office at the Immigration office in the Centre Region, was accused of embezzling FCFA 171 million. Hearing of the case took place at the Special Criminal Court in Yaounde on Monday April 6, 2015. The session before a panel of judges led by Justice Eloundou Virginie, began with the verification of the prosecution and the defence counsels.

As was decided in the previous sitting, the session focused on the questioning of the accused. Prior to the examination-in-chief, Defence Lawyer, Barrister Gaeumltan Batindy, stressed the demand earlier tabled by the defence counsel for the services of an expert to probe into the System SENAC. Barrister Gaeumltan Batindy insisted said it was the right of his client and it was normal that the court takes action concerning the demand for expertise.

This was followed by a series of questions from the defence and the prosecution bench whereby Ngongang Yves Marie explained the process for the issuing of residence permits. Embezzlement was noticed following an audit carried out from January 20 to 24, 2015. The team mandated by the System SENAC first noticed that equipment worth over FCFA 10 million had disappeared. In the same vein, 247 residence permit application forms were missing and could not be justified by the Chief of Post.

He said Ngongang Yves Marie admitted the deficit of FCFA 10 million and reimbursed FCFA 4.7 million on January 25, 2014. He later paid the remaining FCFA 5 million while in detention. Concerning the 247 missing forms, he said Ngongang Yves Marie recognised the disappearance of the forms and asked that he should be given some days to trace the forms. As a way of defending himself, Ngongang Yves Marie said he left them in a carton in the office. He said he was not given enough time to justify the missing forms.

In a second investigation, it was discovered that more forms were missing. Ngongang Yves Marie received forms for identification issued receipts but did not give identity cards. Still in this carton, it was noticed that many applicants had the same receipts, but did not have identity cards. The cost of forms for residence permits ranges from FCFA 30,000 to FCFA 700,000.

At the end of the interrogation, Ngongang Yves Marie solicited expertise taking into consideration the fact that no other person had access into the computer system of SENAC. That, according to Barrister Batindy, is the problem that the court should first have to resolve. The presiding judge adjourned the case to April 29, 2015, pending submissions of the prosecution and observations by civil party.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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