Gabonese military arrests Bongo’s son, other relatives over treason

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Gabonese deposed president Ali Bongo Ondimba’s son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and several members of his cabinet were jailed and charged with “high treason” and “active corruption”, the Libreville prosecutor said.

Ali Bongo’s eldest son, former presidential spokesman Jessye Ella Ekogha, and four other people were “indicted on Tuesday and remanded in custody”, the public prosecutor in Libreville, Gabon’s capital, André-Patrick Roponat, said.

On 30th August, less than an hour after the announcement in the middle of the night of the re-election of Ali Bongo, in power since 2009 and accused of massive fraud, the military, led by General Brice Oligui Nguema, overthrew him, accusing his regime in particular of “massive misappropriation” of public funds.

On the very day of the coup, the military arrested one of the sons of the deposed head of state, as well as five other young senior officials from the office of the former president and his wife Sylvia Bongo Valentin. Searches of their homes, broadcast extensively on state television, showed them at the feet of trunks, suitcases and bags overflowing with bundles of banknotes.

Mrs Bongo Valentin is under house arrest in Libreville “for her protection”, according to the presidency, and “arbitrarily detained” according to her lawyers.

Ali Bongo, who was initially placed under house arrest in Libreville for several days after the putsch, is now “free to move about” and has the possibility of “travelling abroad”, General Oligui announced on 6th September.

Africanews/Hauwa M.