Samuel Lifanda and co-accused paid the amounts they were accused of embezzling before the matter came to court.
The former Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council, Samuel Ebiama Lifanda, reportedly a Pentecostal church pastor, is once more enjoying the air of freedom following his release on May 27, 2016, from detention in the Kondengui-Yaounde Maximum Security Prison by a decision of the Special Criminal Court, SCC. Lifanda was set free alongside Casimir Nyime Lyonga, the then Technical Head for Urban Affairs and Priso Simon Mokosa, ex-Service Head for Urban Affairs – all with the Limbe City Council.
Cameroon Tribune’s attempts on June 4, 2016, to reach Samuel Lifanda on phone were cut short by the wife who said he was not ready to talk to the media. Entreated to say when she thought her husband could be available, she retorted that she did not know and quickly hung up. Another family member would not say if Lifanda was now back with the family in Limbe or was still in Yaounde as rumoured. According to a source at the Yaounde-based Special Criminal Court, Lifanda and the two others were jointly accused of embezzling about 67 million FCFA, being funds from undue waivers he granted for building permits.
The former Government Delegate was responsible for most of the sum, with Nyime and Mokosa accused of embezzling relatively smaller amounts. The SCC judicial source said the three suspects were released in accordance with the presidential decree setting up the SCC, with the approval of the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals before the matter got to court. The advantage at this level, our source pointed out, is that the offence will not be entered into Lifanda’s criminal records; unlike those who are charged to court and later released after reimbursing the amounts they embezzled. Samuel Ebiama Lifanda, Casimir Nyime Lyonga and Priso Simon Mokosa, were on June 10, 2015, remanded in prison custody after appearing before an SCC Examining Magistrate on charges of embezzlement and mismanagement. The former Government Delegate was on February 6, 2009 replaced by Andrew Motanga Monjimba. He was appointed to the position in 1998, replacing the late Henry Njalla Quan, the pioneer Government Delegate to the then Limbe Urban Council.