Wife Of Gabon’s Deposed Leader Ali Bongo Jailed

Gabon’s former President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s wife has been detained, according to her lawyer, who has been under house arrest since the country’s coup in late August.

Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, accused of embezzling public funds, was jailed late Wednesday, according to her lawyer Francois Zimeray, who condemned the “arbitrary… illegal procedure.”

On September 28, Bongo’s wife was accused with money laundering, forgery, and falsification of records.

Sylvia Bongo has been under house arrest in Libreville since the August 30 coup that ended the Bongo dynasty’s 55-year reign.

The putschists allege the former head of state and his entourage falsified the election results.

They accuse Sylvia Bongo and her son, Nourredin Bongo Valentin, of manipulating the former president, who has not fully recovered from a serious stroke in 2018.

They say the two have effectively run the oil-rich country for the past five years and have misused public money.

Nourredin Bongo Valentin has been placed in detention since the coup, charged with corruption.

“We condemned this illegal procedure,” lawyer Zimeray said.

“There is a difference between justice and arbitrary actions, between the law and revenge.”

The public prosecutor in Libreville has not yet responded to an AFP request for comment.

Bongo, 64, who had ruled the country since 2009, was deposed by military leaders just seconds after being declared the winner of a presidential election.

Many perceived it as a liberation movement rather than a military takeover.

After his father, Omar, died in 2009 after nearly 42 years in office, Ali Bongo was elected.

Gabon is Africa’s third-richest country in terms of per capita GDP, but according to the World Bank, one in every three people lives in poverty.

Leave a Reply