Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cameroon:Dismissed SONARA General Manager Charles Metouck detained at Buea Judicial Police

He reportedly sneaked into his former office and was destroying sensitive documents

By Christopher Ambe 

Charles Metouck, dismissed as General Manager of  Cameroon’s  Oil Refinery Company (SONARA) last Friday after  the company’s Board of Directors meeting in Limbe, was last Monday arrested and since then has been in detention at the Buea Judicial Police. 
Mr.Charles Metouck

He is being detained alongside six of his former collaborators.

Mr. Metouck who was GM of SONARA since 2002 until last Friday was replaced by Ibrahim Talba Malla. Until his appointment, Ibrahim Talba Mala was the General Manager of the Hydrocarbons Price Stabilization Fund (CSPH)

Why Charles Metouck Was Arrested

He was arrested because last Monday he “sneaked” into his former office without his successor Mr. Talba Malla and was spotted destroying sensitive documents, apparently to do away with evidence that could later implicate him in wrongdoing.

He was arrested on the instruction of the Procureur-General (Attorney-General) of the Southwest Region, along six others and detained for questioning. They were expected to be brought before state prosecutors yesterday but this did not happen.

The Counsel for Metouck has expressed surprise at the arrest, noting that his client had access into his former SONARA office based on a written authorization from John Ebong Ngole, Chairman of SONARA Board of Directors and Talba Malla, the new GM.

According to Mr.Metouck’s lawyer, the agreement was to enable the dismissed GM prepare some documents for a technical handing over to the new GM. 

But Mr. Ebong Ngolle and Mr. Talba Malla are yet to confirm that they gave the dismissed GM the green light into his former office 

The suspicion is heightened by the fact that Mr. Talba Malla got commissioned into his new office the very Friday the Board appointed. And he was installed by the minister in charge and installation is usually done after technical handing over.

As at now Mr. Metouck is being accused of attempting to do away with sensitive documents and transfer funds.
Before Mr. Metouck’s dismissal, there were allegations of shady deals at SONARA.

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