The former director of Vision 4 Television, a private TV station in Cameroon’s political capital, Yaounde has spent his first night in detention.
Arrested in the early hours of Thursday, June 18, 2020 by a combined team of security officers, Ernest Obama was humiliated infront of those he formerly coordinated, as he resisted the arrest to no avail.
Close to a dozen Gendarme and Police officers carried out the operation that landed him at the Defense State Secretariat, SED.
News of the arrest spread like wild fire with social media reporting that he was spotted handcuffed, barefooted and sitting on the ground at the Defense State Secretariat in Yaounde.
Hours later, social media reported his release; alleging that it was orchestrated by some personalities of the Presidency of the Republic who have sympathy for the journalist- News Upfront is yet to confirm the authenticity of these reports.
Other sources say the former Vision 4 boss was released, and that it was time to properly investigate allegations against him.
News Upfront Investigated the allegations of his release and found out that they were false; as it stands, the former Vision 4 TV boss spent the night in detention.
Though the motive of the arrest has not been officially made public, information circulating directs opinions to the fact that Ernest Obama and his employer, who is promoter of “Anecdote Group” are not in good terms.
Treason, mismanagement of funds, forgery… are cited as causes of the poor relationship between Ernest Obama and Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, his boss.
Similar accusations it should be noted were highlighted when Ernest Obama was demoted from the post of Director of Vision 4 Television.
Cameroonians have reacted differently to the arrest of Ernest Obama; some castigate the fact that he was picked up without an arrest warrant and even brutalized in the process, which is against the respect of his fundamental human rights.
Critics on their part say it is the beginning of the downfall of the “controversial” journalist who claimed to be untouchable in the country.
In the last three years, Ernest Obama has attracted criticism from the public following his positions and reactions to certain happenings in the country, notably his comments on the Anglophone problem.
In 2017, some anglophone journalists signed and forwarded a petition to the National Communication Council against Ernest Obama for his utterances on the anglophone community.
The then director of Vision 4 Television had referred to anglophones as “rats, cockroaches” disturbing the peace of the country through the crisis in the North West and South West regions.
Ernest Obama had suggested that the government should raid and carry out search operations in anglophone dorminated quarters in Yaounde likely to be hosting seperatists.
He even went as far as to indicate that even if it means that people should be killed for peace to reign, like was the case in Algeria under similar circumstances, the government should not relent.
Another public outing that ridiculed Ernest Obama was when he defended a video where soldiers shot and killed women and children up North. He publicly denied the accusations that were placed on Cameroonian soldiers saying the incident was never in Cameroon, accusing those who brought up the video as enemies of the nation.
The top management of “Anecdote Group” have not yet officially reacted to the arrest of their staff.
Journalists trade unions and associations are equally still observing the evolution of the situation.