Several people suspected of involvement in the abduction and subsequent killing of Cameroonian journalist Mbani Zogo Arsène Salomon — popularly known as Martinez Zogo — have been arrested, authorities have announced.
Zogo was the director of Amplitude FM where he hosted a mid-morning talk show in French.
In a statement on Thursday, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the secretary-general at the presidency, said the arrests followed investigations that were ordered by President Paul Biya.
Ngoh did not give the identities or the number of those arrested, but local media reports say the head of the country’s General Directorate of External Intelligence and director of operations at same institution are amongst those in detention.
Commission of inquiry
Following the presidential order, a mixed commission of inquiry made up of Gendarmerie and police officers was put in place to shed light on the journalist’s gruesome murder and their findings have led to the arrest of the suspects.
“Ongoing interrogations and ensuing judicial proceedings will help to determine the level of involvement of each suspect and establish the identities of all those connected in one way or the other with the assassination of the journalist Martinez Zogo,” the statement read.
The lifeless body of 51-year-old Zogo was discovered in Ebogo near the capital Yaounde on January 22, 2023, five days after he was kidnapped by unidentified assailants.
By the time it was discovered, the body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
Attacks on media workers
Zogo’s brutal murder is the latest in a thread of attacks on media workers in the country. He had previously served a two-month prison sentence for criminal defamation in 2020.
Following the arrest of the murder suspects, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged Cameroonian authorities to “ensure transparency in the investigation” and guarantee that the process is followed in a way that delivers full justice for Martinez Zogo.
“Unfortunately, past inquiries into the deaths of journalists, including Samuel Wazizi, have left much to be desired, and authorities must ensure that their investigations and findings surrounding Zogo’s murder are [made] public and [are] credible,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, in New York.