Marafa Hamidou Yaya, former Minister of Territorial Administration was arrested in April 2012 on the charges of embezzlement of public funds in what has come to be known as the Albatross affair. He has since been in prison after being sentenced to 25 years. Reports suggest his health is failing and he has reportedly had an eye operation at a Yaounde military hospital. We learned he was operated last week by a French specialist hired by his family.
The United Nations agencies have painted him as a political Prisoner. We recalled that on July 1st, 2016, BaretaNews reported that the United Nations through one of its agencies known as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) made a major ruling concerning Marafa Hamidou Yaya. They declared that Marafa is a political prisoner. The agency ruled that the Republic of Cameroon’s imprisonment of political prisoner, Marafa Hamidou Yaya, constituted arbitrary detention in violation of international law and it is unlawful. The announcement was made at the group’s 75th session in the United Nations Headquarters in New York from April 18-27.
BaretaNews went on to revealed that the group’s findings were first disclosed to the Government of Cameroon (GOC) two weeks before communicating them to Marafa’s lawyer on Monday, June 27, 2016. In making the case, Marafa Hamidou Yaya’s attorney, Professor Ndiva Kofele Kale, had on June 2015 in front of the UN agency defended Marafa’s claims. However, because of a lot of documents, it took the WGAD between November 2015 and April 2016 to deliberate on the Marafa petition before finally issuing its opinion in June 2016.
The recent operation of his eye which probably came as a result of the poor prison conditions will only add more pressure on the government to release him as per the UN agency recommendations.
God is still saying something.