Kondengui Superintendent Sacked Over Abah Abah’s Escape Attempt

May 15, 2012


 The Superintendent of Kondengui Prison, Daniel Njeng, was, Friday, May 11, fired, following a botched attempt by the former Minister of Finance and Economy, Polycarpe Abah Abah, to escape. 

 According to Kondengui sources, Abah Abah who has been in pre-trial detention at the prison since 2008 for allegedly embezzling public funds, was given permission to go for consultation in the hospital before attempting to jump jail. The Post learnt that secret security operatives used wits to frustrate Abah Abah’s escape ruse that was allegedly hatched with the complicity of some prison guards.

 Insiders say the scenario unfolded recently when the Prison Doctor, Norbert Ndi, recently declared that Abah Abah was very sick and needed medical attention. The Superintendent reportedly endorsed the report presented by the doctor.  In response to this approval, Abah Abah was then taken to the Yaounde Central Hospital in the prison bus, for consultation.

The former Minister was led under tight security with an escort team made up of three warders under the supervision of the Deputy Chief of Service for Administration and Finance at the Kondengui Prison, Minkala Minkala. After consulting at the hospital, The Post learnt, Abah Abah pleaded with his escort team to allow him go to his house at the Odza neighbourhood in Yaounde. The prison guards granted the former Minister’s request.

 It was reported that, unknown to them, they were being trailed right from the prison by armed-to-teeth anti-gang elements purportedly from the Directorate General of External Research popularly known by its French acronym as DGRE. Going by our sources, no sooner did Abah Abah and his escort team enter the erstwhile Minister’s house than the anti-gang men stormed the place.

 They reportedly asked the escort team to explain how they found themselves at the abode of the former Minister when they were given strict instructions to follow only the prison-hospital and hospital-prison itinerary. The prison guards retorted that the anti-gang men did not have any authority and should therefore stop querying them. Little did they know that the anti-gang had been mandated by the Presidency of the Republic. 

 After the exchange of some hard words between the two camps, Abah Abah and his escort were whisked off for interrogation at the headquarters of DGRE. It is reported that they were later taken away into detention at the Judicial Police Headquarters in Yaounde.

 During this period that spanned close to ten hours that Friday, The Post was told, the State apparatus was in absolute panic.  Within an eyewink, the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency called the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals apparently to give instructions.

Our sources said the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso, called the Prison Superintendent and gave him a proper scolding, accusing him of negligence and lack of professionalism. The Presidency later gave firm instructions to the Minister bordering on the sacking of the Kondengui Prison boss.

 A Ministerial order to this effect was then drafted and sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval. And it so happened that the 5 pm news on State radio announced Daniel Njeng’s sacking, barely one year after he was commissioned into office.


While reacting to the incident, one of Abah Abah’s lawyers, Barrister Nouga, dismissed as false information that his client attempted to escape. He said the allegations were a mere fabrication from security operatives who want to get more money from President Biya by giving the false impression that they need to work hard because his security is threatened with the approach of the National Day Celebrations on May 20. “You journalists are very gullible because security men are fabricating a story to reap from it and you are taking it for gospel truth. This is a manipulation,” the lawyer said.

 According to the lawyer, those who want to keep Abah Abah in prison at all cost are looking for all possible ways of fabricating fake charges against him. He said even the charges leveled against his client are trumped-up and that the prosecution will not have any evidence to prove its case.

 By Yerima Kini Nsom