Gabon: Arrest of Two Associates of Opposition Figure Albert Ondo Ossa

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lbert Ondo Ossa

For a month and a week, two close associates of Albert Ondo Ossa, the candidate supported by the Alternance 2023 coalition, have been in custody at Oyem prison in northern Gabon.

The detained individuals, Mike Jocktane and Thérence Gnembou, were heading to Equatorial Guinea with letters seeking assistance from Vice President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. The content of these letters raised concerns among the transitional authorities.

The lawyers clarified that Mike Jocktane and Thérence Gnembou were attempting to travel to Equatorial Guinea for a lobbying mission on the ECCAS summit’s sidelines regarding the Gabon situation following the August 30 coup.

The letters they carried aimed solely to gain recognition of their candidate, Albert Ondo Ossa’s victory in the last presidential election, which was annulled after the coup, stressed the spokesperson for the three lawyers. She emphasized that this was purely to restore constitutional order, distinct from insurgency, rebellion, revolt, or coup.

The two former presidential candidates face charges of “conspiracy,” “false allegations,” and “complicity in false allegations.” The court denied their request for provisional release.

With the investigation concluded the lawyers now request that their clients be either tried or acquitted, expressing their confidence in the justice system’s ability to uphold the law.

Soukaina Sghir

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