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Cameroon:Illegal defamatory publication with ill-intention against the Vietnamese investor

Alwihda Info | Par - 14 Novembre 2018

Viettel Global’s Lawyer rejects baseless and unfounded allegations, which indicate a clear desire of the Chairman of the Board of Directors - Mr Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, to illegally take over the company – Viettel Cameroun S.A (Nexttel).

Mr. Paul Jing, avocat,  Managing Partner JING & PARTNERS  AVOCAT
Mr. Paul Jing, avocat, Managing Partner JING & PARTNERS AVOCAT

Jing & Partners Attoneys-at-Law has announced their determination to protect Viettel Global Investment JSC. (“Viettel Global”) in the Cameroon-based joint venture, Viettel Cameroon S.A (operating under the brand name Nexttel – “Joint Venture”), against false allegations made by several local newspapers based on anonymous information. These allegations are completely one-sided, unfounded, unproven and fabricated in order to defame an internationally reputable company, and worse still, to terminate efforts of both Cameroon authority and people to build the win-win economic-diplomatic relation with Vietnam.
With regards, to the dual signature regime :
The OHADA Uniform Act on Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups and the Articles of Association (Article 29) of Viettel Cameroun SA, duly approved by the shareholders of the Joint Venture and filed at the relevant Company registry, provides that the General Manager is the legal representative of the company.
In fact, the dual signature regime was unilaterally and illegally requested for by the Chairman of Board of Directors, Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, who is the owner of Bestinver Cameroun S.A (“Bestcam”), the minority (30%) shareholder in the Joint Venture.
Using his political relations and influence, Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo effectively obtained a ruling in favour of the dual signature regime in the Joint Venture, from the Court of First Instance of Ekounou-Yaoundé through Ordinance n° 516 of September 15, 2014, without the other party being heard.
Suffice it to say here that the said ruling was not in conformity with the Articles of Association of the Joint Venture, the applicable law on the management of a commercial company.
Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo has also taken advantage of the unilaterally imposed dual signature regime to interfere indirectly in the management of the company, through his representatives/nominees in the Joint Venture, thereby hindering the smooth functioning of the Company.
Due to the unreasonable interference of the courts, Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo and the local Deputy General Manager have illegitimately been misappropriating and mismanaging company’s funds. “This action has blatantly violated and is in serious breach of the OHADA Uniform Acts and the laws of the Republic of Cameroon”.
The situation was made worse when the local Deputy General Manager, Mr. Bayi Moise Bienvenu, who lacks the capacity (locus standi) seized the Court of First Instance of Douala-Bonanjo, purportedly on behalf of the company, in July 2018, requesting for a modification of the signature regime within the company, to enable the Chairman - Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo to be signatory to the Joint Venture’s accounts in the absence of the General Manager or Deputy General Manager. In a most ridiculous manner, on August 2nd, 2018, the Court of First Instance of Douala-Bonanjo issued an order approving this regime. However, this order has been challenged and is pending judgment.
To Jing & Partners’: “Danpullo’s actions only show that he intends to take advantage of local courts and his influence, to threaten and discourage Vietnamese shareholders to quit their investment so he can take over control of the company.”
In relation to the various abusive and illegal interferences of Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo in the Joint Venture.
Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo has recently ordered local employees in regional branches to sell and withdraw cash and handover to him to spend for illegal purposes, instead of depositing such funds to the bank account of the company as required by law and financial management rules within the company. Until October 31, 2018, the amount of illegal retention is 1.120.542.374 Francs CFA.
He has also ordered these regional branches to keep up to 50 million FCFA each month for expenses, which means each month he has 500 million FCFAs from ten (10) branches for personal purposes without the approval of the Board of Directors or the General Manager of the Company.
These instructions are clearly illegal as they are in violation of all financial management rules and constitutes an infringement of the OHADA Law and the Cameroonian Penal Code.
On October 31, 2018, the Deputy General Manager Bayi Moise Bienvenu, who is a nominee of Mr. Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, instructed all Deputy Regional Managers to collect all payments made by dealers in cash and deposit same in BESTCAM’s accounts. This is extremely dangerous and obviously the manifestation of the illegal intent by Mr. Baba through BESTCAM to misappropriate company funds and deprive the foreign investor of their investment.
Illegal defamatory publication with ill-intention against the Vietnamese investor:
With the aim of giving bad publicity to the Vietnamese investor and influencing public opinion against the Vietnamese in Cameroon, there have been misleading information and baseless allegations published in the local press to the effect that;
(1) Vietnamese have been colonizing Cameroonians or have been “violent hunters” since they arrived Cameroon.
(2) Vietnamese at Nexttel violate Cameroonian laws, evade taxes; and
(3) Vietnamese in Cameroon illegally trade in wild animals.
These baseless allegations and accusations have seriously violated Article 305 of the Penal Code on infringing the reputation of enterprises and investors as well the provisions of Section 74 of law n°90/52 of December 19, 1990 relating to freedom of mass communication. The Vietnamese Partner has evidence against these unfounded accusations and have since issued a Press Release and written letters to local press organs to rebuff such allegations and defamatory publications.
Jing & Partners declared: “it must be reiterated that, Viettel is the largest telecommunications company of Vietnam, and is also one of top 15 global telecommunications companies with respect to number of customers. Viettel has invested in telecommunications in 10 countries throughout the world, three of which are 100% funded while seven of which are joint ventures. Viettel is a business partner of Haiti, such a company does not deliberately engage in minor incidents to undermine their global reputation but does comply with all international and local laws to build a strong reputation and position in global market. Minor conspiracies using dark political tactics would not harm such a company.  And we affirm our willingness to prosecute any party’s acts of intrigue or infringement. We believe in the laws of Cameroon that rule on unambiguous evidence.
For further information, contact:
Mr. Paul Jing, Attorney-at-law,
Managing Partner
Tel : +237 233433671
Ismael Lawal
Correspondant d'Alwihda Info à Yaoundé, Cameroun. +237 695884015 En savoir plus sur cet auteur

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