By Doris Fankem in Douala, Cameroon
Secondary Education Minister Loius Bapes Bapes became the first serving minister to be arrested and detained at the Kondengui maximum security prison following corruption allegations today March 31 2014 in the capital Yaounde.
He was transferred to Kondengui early this afternoon after spending one night at the Special Criminal court premises where he was summoned yesterday. Catherine Abena, former Secretary of State in the same ministry who died soon after her release from detention, was a close collaborator of Minister Bapes Bapes and allegations against he minister had been rife.
Bapes Bapes last appeared in public don March 24 2014 in Sanaga Maritime during the 29th anniversary celebrations of the ruling CPDM.
Minister Bapes Bapes now becomes the firs ever serving minister o be detained since all the previous ministerial detentions were summarily sacked before getting bed space in Kondengui.
Following the unprecedented arrest of Minister Bapes Bapes, former ruling CPDM central Committee member Chief Pierre Mila Assoute condemned the action by judicial authorities in Cameroon. Chief Assoute who is now in political exile in France wrote ” a minister who is suspected of embezzling (state funds) or any other malpractices needs to first resign in respect of his office before being arrested”. Arresting a minister in office without firing him first is a constitutional violation of the powers of the state…”
There are indications some other top ranking officials will also be arrested soon as long serving president Paul Biya continues his drive to fight against white collar corruption by some of his close corroborators