By Celestin Ngoa Balla, US Africa News. Updated 2016-08-10
It could be called an Internet con. While he was spouting off in videos attacking (sometimes with death threats) certain powerful people in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Patrice Nouma had at the same time disappeared from the streets of New York and New Jersey.
The tactic enabled him to run for a year and half from detectives engaged by Goldman and Gerstein, the law firm representing the Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the UN and its Chief Financial Officer, Nganje Kingue Monono.
It wasn’t until July 26, 2016 that the deserter from the Cameroonian army was finally served the complaint dated January 5 2015. He has 35 days to either appear or have a lawyer represent him in New Jersey’s Civil Court. In accordance with American law, it is the plaintiff who serves the summons to the accused for Civil Court. This should be easy procedure if a respondent has proper legal documentation, and above all, an official home address.
We remember that on May 23, 2014 Patrice Nouma posted a You Tube video disclosing information and transactions relating to a bank account opened at the PNC Bank in Manhattan for the Cameroon Mission. In the same video he accused the Nganje Kingue Monono of engaging in money laundering operations. In addition to the complaint against Nouma, the plaintiffs also filed a complaint against PNC Bank for negligence in protecting information. A few weeks ago there was a hearing lasting ten hours in which lawyers from the Mission confronted lawyers for the PNC Bank.
A sum of three million dollars was requested by the plaintiffs' lawyers for damages. But we must wait for the final verdict in next few days to see whether the judge agrees with this sum. The absence of Patrice Nouma during the hearing was a lifesaver to which PNC Bank lawyers clung desperately. The bank has also revealed that it was through a Cameroonian employee that Nouma procured the banking documents which didn’t belong to him. This employee was soon after booted out as bureau head. The bank presented this action against its employees as evidence of its good faith and a demonstration that it had not betrayed its client.
In reality, Patrice Nouma had been spotted for months by detectives who were waiting for an opportunity to catch him properly. “He knew for sure that he was wanted,” one of detectives confirmed.