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Abah Abah Trial: Prosecution Witness Presents Evidence

Polycarpe Abah Abah

Ndifor Tikum Joseph, an official with CBC Bank, testified at the Special Criminal Court on July 6, 2015. Not much progress was made at the Yaounde Special Criminal Court, SCC, on Monday, July 6, 2015 as Ndifor Tikum Joseph took to the witness stand to present evidence. He was led in Examination-in-Chief by Advocate General Taguim. Mr. Justice Nyoh Matthias was the lead judge, assisted by Mr. Justice Tagiyin and Mr. Justice Adebada.

A management official with CBC Bank, Ndifor presented correspondence and documents from Polycarpe Abah Abah in his capacity as former Director of Taxes. One of the memos was a July 2, 1999 request to CBC Bank to open a Fixed Deposit Account in the amount of FCFA 1.5 billion for an initial period of six months. The funds were said to be for the reimbursement of Value Added Tax, VAT returns by the Department of Taxes. Several exhibits were tendered by the prosecution witness and under questioning by Mr. Justice Taguim to try to prove that not only was the account opened in the name of the Department of Taxes, but at least FCFA 1 billion 150 million was later withdrawn by Polycarpe Abah Abah for personal purposes.

Barristers Antoine Marcel Mong and Jean Marie Nouga, counsel for the former Director of Taxes, strongly contested the authenticity of some of exhibits tendered, arguing that they did not initially exist in the charge file. Moreover, they pointed out that it was the responsibility of the Director of Taxes to authenticate photocopies of any correspondence having originated from that office; not CBC Bank.

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They expressed surprise at the fact that the same CBC Bank management that had earlier refused to authenticate the Photostat copy of an old correspondence in 2013 on the excuse that it did not exist in their files, could later agree to certify others even when they do not carry evidence of date of receipt in the bank. Barristers Antoine Marcel Mong and Jean Marie Nouga concluded by suggesting that the documents were not genuine. The matter was adjourned to August 10, 2015, for the continuation of the Examination-in-Chief of Ndifor Tikum Joseph.

Polycarpe Abah Abah, a former Director of Taxes and ex-Finance Minister, is accused by Batock Dikanda Daniel, a former journalist, now parliamentarian, Peter William Mandio and the Ministry of Finance, of fraudulently obtaining landed property belonging to a cooperative and the State of Cameroon worth FCFA 1.8 billion. The crime was allegedly committed between 1998 and 2005 when Polycarpe Abah Abah was Director of Taxes.

Kimeng Hilton NDUKONG

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