Equatorial Guinea Dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema in photo prepares for one party rule
PARIS––The superior court in Equatorial Guinea on Monday confirmed the disbanding of the country’s foremost opposition and upheld 30-year jail terms handed to 21 of its members.
A former Spanish colony with a population of 1.2 million people, crammed with oil but stalled in poverty and a standing for greed and widespread corruption, Equatorial Guinea has over the decades been ruled with an iron fist by Teodoro Obiang Nguema since 1979.
The president of the Supreme Court, Juan Carlos Ondo Angue, announced, “In the name of the head of the state, we reject the appeal.”
The court’s decision dissolves the Citizens for Innovation (CI) party which had been previously dissolved by a court in Mongomo on February 26.
The court also sentenced 21 political activists, including the party’s sole MP, Jesus Mitogo, to 30 years in jail for “sedition, public disorder, attacks on authority and serious bodily harm.”
the CI won the only parliamentary seat not taken by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), which claimed 99 of 100 seats during elections last November,
The trial in Mongomo was linked to the fracas that occurred a week before the vote when police tried to stop a CI rally in Aconibe, the hometown of party leader Gabriel Nse Obiang Obono.
Eyewitness say three police officers were hurt and their weapons — three AK-47 assault rifles and a pistol — were seized.
Immediately after the elections last year, an attempted coup took place on December 24 – an attempt that the authorities said was organized and planned internally and carried by foreign agents.
A subsequent wave of arrests ensued, with political detainees saying they were lashed 100 or 150 times each night. A CI member, Santiago Ebee Ela, 41, died in custody, the party said.
Reacting to Monday’s court decision, the CI lawyer Fabian Nsue Nguema, in reaction to the court’s decision, described the appeal outcome as “a sentence for dictatorship and shame.”
Arguing, “The Supreme Court received instructions from the president of the republic to dissolve the CI.”
Carmelo Ngomo Abeso, the CI’s first vice secretary-general, said, “There is no law in this country.
“No-one on the (Supreme) Court is able to contradict President Teodoro Obiang’s demand, which was clearly to ask the judiciary to put an end to the CI.”
The current Equatorial Guinean Bissau leader seized power by ousting his own uncle, first post-independence president Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by firing squad.
During his decades in office, Obiang has faced at least half a dozen assassination or coup attempts during his decades in office. He most recently won a fifth seven-year term in 2016 with nearly 94 percent of votes.