A number of supporters of the ousted president of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, including his son, have been charged with high treason and corruption and are currently in detention, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday.
According to Libreville prosecutor Andre-Patrick Roponat, the eldest son of Bongo, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and the former presidential spokeswoman, Jessye Ella Ekogha, were charged and placed in provisional detention on Tuesday due to allegations of corruption.
According to Roponat, who spoke at a news conference, ten people were indicted on Tuesday for a variety of crimes, including money laundering, misappropriation of public funds, using the seals of the republic, and problems with the electoral college.
On August 30, just a few moments after being declared the winner of a presidential election, military leaders overthrew Bongo, 64, who had ruled the oil-rich central African nation since 2009. The opposition and the organizers of the military coup also accused his rule of extensive corruption and poor leadership, and they deemed the results a fraud.
Soldiers detained one of Bongo’s sons, five top cabinet members, and his wife Sylvia Bongo Valentin on the same day as the coup. According to authorities, Sylvia Bongo Valentin is placed under house arrest in the nation’s capital, Libreville, “for her protection.” Her attorneys claim that she is being detained “arbitrarily”.
General Brice Oligui Nguema, the nation’s new military ruler, declared on September 6 that Bongo, who was himself placed under house arrest for many days following the coup, is “free to move around” and travel overseas.
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A half-century of Bongo family domination has come to an end with Oligui’s swearing-in as interim president. Oligui led the coup that brought an end to that rule. Without specifying a timeline, he has pledged to arrange “free, transparent, and credible elections” in order to reinstate civilian authority.