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Jailed former Minister Marafa under intensive care in Yaounde hospital

Marafa Hamidou Yaya leaving the courtroom in Yaounde in 2012 amid tight security (c)All rights reserved

Former minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya serving a 20-year jail term is currently under intensive care at the emergency unit of the Yaounde Central hospital.

Marafa Hamadou Yaya, one of the longest serving ministers in the 34-year old Biya regime, now serving a 20-year jail sentence has been under intensive care at the emergency unit of the Yaounde Central Hospital since last Thursday, sources have said.

Marafa, who is a political prisoner according to some analysts and international organisations including the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention, is said to be responding to treatement. We gathered he may be thrown back into his cell at the gendarmerie headquarters in Yaounde sometime this week.

Local newspaper reports suggested, after he was rushed to the hospital last Thursday, that the one time secretary general at the presidency was in a critical condition that required he should be flown abroad for proper medical attention. It was however not revealed what he was sick of. Some activists on social media requested he should be flown abroad immediately.

It is not the first time Marafa is taken into hospital for medical attention since his incarnation in September 2012. The man who was repeatedly cited as President Biya’s successor as Head of State was operated upon last year. His lawyer, Barrister Alice Kom, told press before Marafa’s eye surgery that her client was going blind in prison.

He was initially sentenced to 25-years imprisonment for “intellectual complicity” in the embezzlement of funds set aside for the purchase of an aircraft for President Biya who has been in power since 1982. The Supreme Court reduced the sentence to 20-years following an appeal filed by the former minister’s counsel.

It should be recalled that another former minister, Essimi Menye who was only under investigation, vamoosed in Paris, France where he had been flown out for medical treatment. Today an arrest warrant which evidently prevents him from returning to Cameroon, has been issued for him.

Published on 03.01.2023

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