The Wouri High Court has slammed a 30-year jail term on the former General Manager of the national petroleum depot, SCDP, Jean Baptiste Nguini Effa. The court also ordered the confiscation of his property (houses) and bank accounts that have been identified across the country.
The verdict, which found Effa guilty, was passed in the morning of Saturday, October 13, in the case of alleged embezzlement of a little over FCFA 2 billion by Nguini Effa and some of his close collaborators at SCDP between 2005 and 2007. Two of Effa’s collaborators in the case, the former Director of Finance at SCDP, Onana Andzi, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, while the former head of the Administrative and Accounting Department, Jean Beautempts Mackongo, got a 12-year sentence.
The court also ordered the seizure of the property of the three persons. The four culprits were also ordered to repay SCDP the sum of FCFA 2.125.459.661 in addition to FCFA 20 million to the State of Cameroon. Nguini Effa’s lawyers, however, immediately indicated that they were to file an appeal against the Wouri High Court ruling.
The former SCDP boss himself described the verdict which condemned him as unfair.
Another former senior personnel of SCDP, Didier Etoundi, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Two other SCDP personnel in the case; former ‘Chief of Cabinet’ of the General Manager, Kisito Ondoua, and a senior personnel in Yaounde, Theodore Guillaume, were discharged and acquitted.
Nguini Effa’s Arrest
It should be noted that Nguini Effa was General Manager of SCDP for some 20 years. But the audit which was carried out by the Supreme State Control in early 2008 was limited to only three years.
Effa and some of his former collaborators, who were indicted by the audit report, separately appeared in front of the Budgetary Discipline and Financial Commission at the Supreme State Control later that year, to defend themselves.The Supreme State Control established the exact amounts of money which the different accused persons could not account for. They were six in number and were charged with the embezzlement of over FCFA 2 billion, with Effa alone accused of having embezzled FCFA 955.083.664.
The six were arrested on August 2009 on the orders of the State Counsel at the Wouri High Court. After days of detention at the Judicial Police in Douala, they were all taken to the New Bell Prison on August 28 for pre-trail detention. Although Effa’s lawyers described the verdict passed against their client as too harsh, many observers expressed the view that the members of the jury might have had in mind Effa as the playboy.
Effa became notorious in Douala as the playboy who was often accompanied to the night club by at least three girls. And again, most of these girls were known to be regular night clubbers or ‘professional dry cleaners’. Whenever the ‘grand boss’ was in the night club, whisky flowed like water. And besides his women, many praise singers would also benefit free drinks.
Source: Cameroon Post