Ibrahim Bello, a 17-year old boy is currently under intensive care at the Yaounde central hospital. He was tortured last month to the point that he lost his legs and speech.
Our reporter was barred from entering his hospital ward yesterday as he attempted to get the facts of the story. Politicians could be seen visiting the youngster yesterday, March 27; but the hospital director, we gathered, had left instructions no journalists should be let into the ward.
We however gathered that the teenager is still unable to speak. “Nobody knows why he is unable to speak. But family members pray he regains his speech so that he can reveal what really happened to him. At the moment, there are two stories and we do not know which one to believe” Our source said.
Sources say the minor was caught red-handed trying to steal from a lawyer’s car in Ombessa, in the Mbam and Inoubou division of the Center region. Some accounts say he was taken to the Ombessa Public Security police station where he was tortured severely and thrown out of the police station days later. According to this narration, the youngster was taken to the Ombessa hospital already handicapped by the torture he received in detention.
Police sources for their part, claim Ibrahim Bello is a victim of mob justice. They say the lawyer from whose car the lad was trying to steal, seized him from the hands of the mob and took him to the police station. A source at the general delegation for national security says the lawyer who was just passing through the town of Ombessa, never returned to the police station, reason why the boy was released two days later.
“He went to the hospital two weeks later to treat his wounds” the source said, suggesting that it could have been the delay in the treatment of the injuries his sustained from the public flogging that led to the amputation of his legs.
Martin Mbarga Nguele, the police boss is said to have ordered the incident should be rigorously investigated so that perpetrators should be brought to book. It should be recalled that the no-nonsense police chief has been known to dole out severe sanctions on defaulting police officers recently, in a bid to restore the lost dignity and honour of the Cameroon police force.