As reported by ngoketunjiaonline, the Mayor of Balikumbat Council was sentenced to eight years in prison http://www.ngoketunjiaonline.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/balikumbat-mayor-and-four-others-sentenced-to-eight-years-in-prison with respect to the disappearance of a girl he is suspected of being in connection with.
ngoketunjiaonline decided to meet the father of the girl, Mr Nwanyeck Philips JOGURU QUARTER, Balikumbat to find out what exactly happened and he made startling revelations. Follow the interview below.
Journalist: Mr Nwanyeck Philips, what actually happened between you and Mr Wasum Augustine, Mayor of Balikumbat before he was sentenced to eight years in prison?
Mr Nwanyek: Well, Mr Journalist, giving you the answer to this question of yours; I will say it all started on the 16th of july, 2015 when my children left the compound to watch a football match at the Catholic School field, in Joguru; that is my quarter in BAlikumbat village. At about 08:30pm, two of my children came running back into the compound. They entered my bedroom, where I was in bed, suffering from a cold, and told me that on their way back, some unknown persons came out of the bush and took away their sister. I immediately took my flashlight and went with them to the site where the incident had taken place. When I arrived, I looked for traces trying to spot signs of footsteps but it very dark already, this was impossible.
I then immediately alerted my family and we went round the quarter looking for my daughter till the morning of the 17th. At about 7:00am, when we realized we could not find her, I went to the Balikumbat Police station to deposit a complaint against an unknown person. Since it was a market day, the elements were out on patrol. I was asked to come back in the afternoon. When I came back in the afternoon, they were not on seat. I left for Bamenda to inform my sister who lives there. While in Bamenda, the cold I earlier complained of; developed into a fever which kept me down till Sunday the 19th of July, 2015.
On my return home in Balikumbat, my children gave me a “convocation” from the Balikumbat Gendarmerie, which required me to have reported there the previous day, 18th July, 2015. The next day, Monday 20th, I wrote to the Brigade Commander asking for permission to go to the hospital because of my situation, after which I would come to see him. At the hospital, the doctor asked me to take a 7days of bed rest. He issued a medical certificate to this effect and he asked me to come back on the 29th of July, 2015. Realizing that I had run out of finances, I decided to rush to my sister in Bamenda in order to get some money on the 21st of July.
Very early in the morning, on my way to Ndop where I intended to take a vehicle to Bamenda, I saw my missing daughter, standing by the roadside. I asked the bike driver who was transporting me to stop. I asked my daughter where she had been all that while. As she was trying to narrate the story, the bike driver said he was going to abandon me there if I was going to delay. I decided to take her along up to 3 Corners Bamali Junction where bikes are abundant. Having seen the daughter I have been looking for, when we reached Bamali, I decided to take some time to get her entire narrative and she took her time to tell me.
As she was returning with her brothers from the field on that faithful day, three persons, Mr Wasum Augustine, Mayor of Balikumbat Council, Bobga Maxwell and Nyue Divine came out of a nearby bush and hijacked her from the midst of her brothers. They took her to the house of one Sama Gilbert. There, they gave her a letter which they compelled her to copy in her handwriting. Thinking that if she obeyed she would be allowed to go home, she complied. When she was done, Mr Wasum Augustine told her she was to spend the night with Sama Gilbert after which she was to be moved to his compound the next day, i.e on the 17th of July, 2015, early in the morning.
She passed the night there and early in the morning, Petkungha Husseni Wasum, a junior brother to Mr Wasum Augustine, came and took her and Sama Gilbert on a motorbike to a room in the compound of Mr Wasum Augustine. There, they placed a white piece of cloth on the floor. A medicine bag made of leopard skin was also placed on the cloth. They took a live cock and asked her to hold the head. She refused. All the six who were there shouted at her, threatening to kill her. Having no options, she held the head of the cock as she was told. Mr Wasum Augustine took out two sharp knives from the bag. He used one to cut the neck of the cock causing the blood to drip on the bag. Next, he took out a small bottle from the bag. From it, he poured into his left palm a black concoction which he mixed with the blood and compelled her to lick with her tongue. When she did so, Mr Wasum Augustine then told her that as she has eaten this medicine, if she was asked about the letter anywhere, she must say that “It is your father Nwanyeck Philip who asked you to write it against me, Mr Wasum Augustine. If you try to tell anybody that we gave you the letter to copy, you will die! ”
Having done this, Mr Wasum Augustine then took out his phone and called Talam Simon, Director of CEAC Balikumbat asking him to wait for them because they were bringing her to his residence for temporal custody. There she was kept in a room. After about an hour, she was taken to the Balkumbat Gendarmerie Brigade where she was asked to sign a statement testifying that her father had asked her to write a letter against the Mayor, Mr Wasum Augustine. At the end of this procedure, the Mayor took her in his car back to his house where she was kept in a room up to the early hours of July 21st when he came with a bag of dresses, and asked her to dress up because a bike driver was waiting to move her to the roadside from where she was to be taken to Babungo village where he had arranged for her to be staying until she will be brought to court to testify against her father. The bike dropped her by the road side and it was there that I saw her. That is the story my daughter narrated to me.
I then took her to Ndop Motor Park en route for Bamenda. But as we were about to board the public transport vehicle, somebody gripped me from behind. It was Nyue Divine, one of the people my daughter had talked about. Just minutes later, Mr Wasum Augustine arrived the scene with security forces from Balikumbat. Sir; that is how the matter started. I was detained at the Gendarmerie Brigade in Balikumbat and later transferred to Ndop Production Prison. During the time I was detained at the Brigade, my daughter was again whisked off by Mr Wasum Augustine. And since then I have never set my eyes on her.
When I was released from Ndop several days later, I sued the Mayor, Mr Wasum Augustine for kidnapping my daughter. That is what happened, Mr Journalist.
Journalist: There have been widespread rumours that the case has been politically motivated. Do you agree with that?
Mr Nwanyek: I disagree with that but I can partly say yes. I disagree because all along, none of my political friends, I mean militants of the CPDM (I am a militant of the CPDM party, I’m currently a councilor meaning I hold a political position.) None of them have ever supported me in the fight for my daughter! When I say yes, it is also because it is evident that Mr Wasum Augustine sat down and calculated how he could wipe me out of the Balikumbat council and to make it impossible for me to ever be a councilor again. Mr Journalist I can tell you that with proof. You cannot imagine that my daughter got missing on the 16th of July, 2015. We had a council session on the 25th of August, about a month after, and the invitation prepared for me was seized by the Mayor Mr Wasum Augustine! Furthermore, Mr Journalist, on the 24th of August 2015, when the Finance Committee (of which I am member) was meeting, a fellow Councilor gave me the information just hours before commencement. On reaching there, I asked the Secretary General why he did not invite me. He said he left my invitation at the office corridor and thought I had picked it up from there. When I went into the Council Chambers, the Mayor Mr Wasum Augustine came and drove me out. He said I was a “killer”, that I was “Boko Haram”. He said I should never come near the Council premises again. I was surprised to hear such things coming from a personality of his status. As he was saying these things, some Councilors who were there tried to intervene but it turned out to be a forum for insults.
Again, after the Council session, Mr Wasum Augustine refused to pay my sitting allowance. It took the intervention of the S.D.O for Ngoketunjia before it was paid. Sir, with all these, I can conclude that Mr Wasum Augustine wanted to send me out of the political arena. But Mr Journalist, my case is that my daughter is missing. Politically motivated? No! No! No! Mr Wasum Augustine is simply responsible for her disappearance.
Journalist: For how long have you been separated from your daughter?
Mr Nwanyek: Today July 22, 2016 marks one year, one day exactly.
Journalist: O.K. Mr Nwanyek Philip, even though we are not in court, do you have proof that your daughter is in the keeping of Mr Wasum Augustine?
Mr Nwanyek: I have proof. And that is what I presented in court before he and his accomplices were sentenced to 8 years in prison each.
Journalist: Should your daughter be brought to you, what will be your next step?
Mr Nwanyek: I am talking to you, I am a notable in Balikumbat and a Muslim. I have the fear of the Almighty. I do not want anybody to suffer. My friend Wasum Agustine and the five others are in prison because of the crime they committed not because I purposefully intended sending them there. As of now, if they bring back my daughter I will say no more case. But what they have done is a crime against the law and therefore I will leave them in the hands of the law.
Journalist: In the court of law, did they accept that they will bring back your daughter or they still insisted that she is not in their keeping?
Mr Nwanyek: They said they were not keeping her but the statement they made is just equivalent to “beating about the bush.”
Journalist: Sir, we learned that from time immemorial, you and Mr Wasum have been friends. Are you now enemies?
Mr Nwanyek: No! No! No! I can never be enemy with anybody. Even if I am to be an enemy to any other person, it should not be Mr Wasum Augustine. But, concerning my daughter, I am very disappointed!
Journalist: Sir, I learned the court has said you are claiming 30millon francs CFA. Have they paid the money? If they pay, will you collect it?
Mr Nwanyek: I made a claim of 50millon francs CFA and 30millon francs CFA was awarded. That claim was not made because my daughter is missing. It is intended to cover expenses engaged during the stressful search for my daughter. It involved the transportation and mobilization of several people as well as other expenditures. They have not paid the money. Instead, I learned, they have sent in an appeal motion. I am waiting for the 30millon francs CFA to be paid. I am waiting…
Journalist: Thank you, Mr Nwanyek for accepting to talk to the Guardian Post newspaper!
Mr Nwanyek: I also thank you Mr Journalist for coming.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY CHRISTIAN TEBONG NDANJI IN BALIKUMBAT ON 22ND JULY, 2016