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Technology and innovation in West Africa
04:55 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Rebecca Enonchong, a Cameroonian tech entrepreneur, has been arrested and brought before a court in Douala, in Cameroon’s Littoral Region, according to her lawyer and another close associate.

Enonchong has been in government custody since her arrest on Tuesday, social activist Edith Kahbang Walla told CNN Thursday.

“On Tuesday she was invited to the Gendarmerie (policing force)…and she went. When she arrived there, they began asking her questions about some cases she has with her family concerning inheritance,” Walla explained.

Enonchong would later be accused of “contempt” and arrested according to a “verbal instruction” by the region’s attorney general, said Walla, who told CNN she was in direct contact with Enonchong.

“There’s no written complaint…no elements of the said contempt, there’s no warrant, there’s no summons,” said the activist, who also leads the Cameroon People’s Party (CPP).

“The Gendarmerie told (Enonchong) that they received a verbal instruction for her to be arrested. She was informed that the attorney general of the Littoral Region stated that in her discussions with members of his staff, she showed contempt,” Walla added.

Sylvain Oum, Enonchong’s lawyer, confirmed Walla’s comments. “We have received no documentation of what she (Enonchong) is accused of, nor formal written complaint against her.”

“She is a victim of an abuse of power,” Oum also said, adding that he believes Enonchong never should have been detained in the first place.

According to Walla, Enonchong was referred to the Bonanjo Court of First Instance on Wednesday and was remanded in custody due to a delay in paperwork.

“The court said it hadn’t received her file, so a new order of detention was signed and she spent a second night at the Gendarmerie. She was asked to present herself at the court at 8:30 this morning (Thursday). She was brought to the court by the Gendarmerie this morning and her file has been registered — maybe we’ll have more elements from the file,” Walla said.

Cameroonian authorities did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

The Cameroonian government has frequently been accused of repression and various forms of human rights abuses.

Enonchong’s arrest sparked outrage on social media with many prominent individuals, including the French ambassador to Cameroon calling for her release.

The African Business Angels Network (ABAN), which Enonchong co-founded has described her arrest by Cameroonian authorities as “highly irresponsible.”

A GoFundMe page has since been set up to support Enonchong’s legal bills.

Enonchong is one of Africa’s most influential tech entrepreneurs and she sits on the boards of many global corporations including the WHO Foundation.