Exactly one year after he was released from detention, journalist Akumbom Elvis McCarthy took to Facebook Wednesday, December 4, 2019 to recount his ordeal throughout the 10 months he spent behind bars.
Titled “One Year after My Release from Prison”, Akumbom writes that he spent about 10 months in detention for filming “the Cameroon military brutalising occupants of a taxi at Sonac Street Bamenda”.
Arrested on March 20, 2018, Akumbom revealed that he was first taken to the Traffic Police Post at Ntarinkon and termed “Ambazonie”. By 9:00 p.m. that fateful day, he was transferred to the Bamenda Judicial Police after what he terms “serious brutalisation”.
Hear him: “I spent a month on the floor at judicial police Bamenda going through hell as I was charged with secession, fake news, rebellion against the state, and propagation of false news against the military. Though with my ID Card in hand, I was charged for non-possession of ID card. I had ten counts, no evidence.”
The famous Bamenda-based pidgin newscaster said throughout his stay in pre-trial detention, “good colleagues like Nfor Hanson, Mimi Mefo, Innocent Azeh, and plenty of Equinoxe TV staff fought for my release especially, Smart Njikang Gabriel alias ‘Ambassador’. The likes of Randy Joe Sa’ah of the BBC and Kaah Aaron Yancho as well as professional groups like MPB , CAMASEJ Bamenda and many others came to my rescue. I say thank you again.”
Akumbom goes on to thank CWA Bayelle- Sisia Zonal Level members and those of GOTHBESANS, and Moh Development Association Moda Bamenda for their invaluable support.
“Since it is already a year after I regained freedom, I can now move to these groups personally to thank them for thinking of me while I paid the price for justice. It has taken me a year to regain health and normal life after all the frustration from the government of Cameroon,” writes Akumbom.
He furthers that: “I might have left out other persons, groups and institutions who were so close to me on a daily basis, those who encouraged and supported me while I was in jail, like my namesake Dogo Dogo Elvis, Gnoukapasi Martial, Ambe Macmillian Awa, Choves Loh, Gwain Colbert, and Tanche Fedel. Thank you.
“The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, played a vital role for my well-being throughout my stay in prison. Health facilities and plenty of my upkeeps were always available. The NGOs I have not mentioned here, thank you very much. Final thank you goes to my entire family who made me proud while I was in jail.”