Staff Sergeants Bassia Brigitte Abeme and Bellari Sabine pretended to be serving in foreign diplomatic missions for four years.
The corruption trials of two Yaounde-based female Non-Commissioned Officers, NCOs, of the Cameroon military, opened at the Yaounde Military Tribunal on Thursday, October 20, 2016. The cases were heard by Mrs. Justice Zakiyatou Alioum and Mr. Justice Fenchou as State Counsel. Mba Clément represented the Ministry of Defence.
Army Staff Sergeant Bassia Brigitte Abeme is accused of stealing military assets, an offence punishable under Articles 74 of the Penal Code and 230 of the Military Justice Code. The act was committed from 2011 to 2014. Bassia Brigitte collected undue monthly housing allowances of 192,513 FCFA, claiming to be serving in the Defence Adviser’s office in the Cameroonian Embassy in Libreville, Gabon. Meanwhile, she never served in any foreign diplomatic mission. The amount embezzled is estimated at 9.2 million FCFA. The State Counsel said this was punishable under military justice with imprisonment of one to five years. Staff Sergeant Bassia pleaded guilty to the charge, with the State Attorney noting that she admitted the offence and cooperated with investigations right from the onset.
On the other hand, Gendarme Staff Sergeant (“Maréchal de logis chef”) Bellari Sabine is accused of embezzling military assets, an offence punishable under Articles 74 of the Penal Code and 217 of Military Justice Code. Mba Clément said Bellari from 2011 to 2014 collected 320,000 FCFA and sometimes 350,000 FCFA as monthly housing allowance, claiming to be serving in the Defence Adviser’s office in the Cameroonian Embassy in Beijing, China. She never served in foreign diplomatic mission.
Staff Sergeant Bellari also pleaded guilty to the charge, having cooperated with investigators, the State Attorney disclosed. The amount embezzled is estimated at 15.3 million FCFA. Both trials were adjourned to November 17, 2016, for Mba Clément to calculate total amounts embezzled by the two Non-Commissioned Officers in four years and the State Counsel to make his final submission.