State Television, CRTV, announced Monday, July 4, during its primetime 8:30 pm French newscast that President Paul Biya has signed a decree cumulating the prison sentence of jailed Lawyer, Lydienne Yen Eyoum, effecting her immediate release.
The Presidential decree made no other reference to other prisoners in Kondengui, only one point of focus; the release of Eyoum.
This has come as a sigh of relieve to the lawyer’s family that had sought the intervention of French President to press for the release of their daughter who also holds a French nationality.
She was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to a 25 year jail term with hard labour in September 2014 by the Special Criminal Court. Lydienne Eyoum was found guilty for embezzling some FCFA 1.077 billion which she was hired by the government to recover from SGBC Bank. The Supreme Court later on endorsed the judgment in June 2015.
Since her incarceration at the Kondengui maximum security prison pressure has been mounting on Biya from the French. In December 2015, a visiting French Senator, Jean-Yves Leconte, who met with Eyoum in prison announced that the jailed Lawyer pleaded for presidential pardon and was to be released very soon.
A group was even created to lobby for her release. To facilitate their mission, Eyoum had paid into the state treasury FCFA 4.7 billion which included the initial recovery sum of FCFA 3.6 billion and interest.
Her lobbyists then claim she has served the state and her incarceration was unjustified. The United Nations also judged her jail sentence as arbitrary. This was the same position held by the International Federation of Human Rights.
With the release of Lydienne Eyoum, hopes are high that Marafa Hamidou Yaya whose sentence has been described as arbitrary by the United Nations may be a free man.
Born in 1959, Eyoum was a Douala based Lawyer and got married in 2006 to a French banker, Michel Loyse, then, based in Cameroon. Her husband claimed in a Le Monde Afrique article in 2015 that she is the daughter of one of Ahidjo’s former Ministers.
After obtaining French nationality in 2010 while in detention she petitioned a Paris court for her arbitrary detention and torture in a foreign land, – the foreign land being Cameroon.
Source: cameroonjournal/ radioxyzonline.om