The Government of Cameroon has finally issued a statement on the case of the Buea-based pidgin newscaster Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe aka Wazizi arrested in August 2019 in the South West region of Cameroon.
In a release issued Friday, Col. Cyrille Serge Atonfack, Communication Officer at the Ministry of Defence says Samuel Wazizi was arrested for allegedly collaborating with separatist fighters on August 1, 2019 and died sixteen days later from severe sepsis and not torture as reported by the media.
The release indicates that after his arrest by the Muea police, Samuel Wazizi was transferred to the 21st Motorised Infantary Brigade on August 7 for further questionning at the end of which he was later transferred to the Central Services of the Judicial police of the National Gendarmerie in Yaounde on the 13 of August by military security.
According to Col. Cyrille Atonfack, arriving Yaounde, Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe presented health issues and was immediately transferred to the Yaounde Military Hospital for proper treatment.
He says that unfortunately for the journalist, his health situation worsened and on the 17th of August, doctors confirmed Wazizi had given up the ghost.
In the release, Col. Atonfack states clearly that Samuel Waziiz’s family was aware of his whereabouts, “he exchanged with family members while on his sick bed” and they were informed about his death.
He adds that Wazizi’s corpse was placed at the Cefta Mortuary in Ekounou, Yaounde and once more family members informed to bury the corpse but they never took any step to do so.
On Tuesday June 2, Douala-based television channel, Equinox announced Waziziis dead. The following day, journalism associations confirmed his death, adding that he died after succumbing to torture under detention.
This announcement followed a wave of indignation from the national and international public, demanding the Government to give account for Wazizi whether he is still alive or dead and if dead provide his body.