According to his employer and the police, a well-known radio journalist, Martinez Zogo from Cameroon who had gone missing after what a media rights group dubbed a kidnapping has been found dead.
Martinez Zogo was the executive in charge of the Yaounde-based private radio station Amplitude FM and the star of the daily show Embouteillage (Gridlock).
On air, the 51-year-old frequently addressed instances of corruption and didn’t hesitate to ask specific questions about influential people. He had vanished since Tuesday.
“I went to Ebogo (15 kilometres north of Yaounde) early this morning where I saw and recognised the body of Martinez Zogo. The prosecutor’s deputy was present and his wife was there to identify him,” Amplitude FM radio editor in chief Charly Tchouemou told AFP.
The death of Martinez Zogo was confirmed to AFP by a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A large crowd gathered as Martinez Zogo’s body was taken to the morgue of Yaounde central hospital for an autopsy, a member of the victim’s family told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Social media has been awash with posts following his disappearance with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemning “the brutal abduction of a journalist”.
According to RSF, Zogo’s badly damaged car was found outside a police station in a suburb of the Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Tuesday.
“There are many grey areas regarding the circumstances of his brutal abduction,” Sadibou Marong, head of the sub-Saharan Africa office of RSF, told AFP.
“The authorities must launch a rigorous, thorough and independent investigation to establish the full chain of responsibility and the circumstances that led to this sad event,” Marong said.
Cameroon’s national journalists’ union condemned a “heinous assassination” and urged media workers to wear black on January 25 as a sign of mourning.
The International Press Institute, a Vienna-based press freedom organisation, urged Cameroonian authorities to “promptly investigate the horrific murder and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”.
The political opposition was also indignant, with Social Democratic Front (SDF) deputy Jean-Michel Nintcheu denouncing a “crime which cannot go unpunished”.
On Sunday, several Cameroonian television channels dedicated their programmes to Martinez Zogo’s death.
Cameroonian-French writer Calixthe Beyala said she was “dejected, saddened” by news of his death.
“I knew he was dead as soon as it was announced that he was kidnapped,” she told Info TV.
“We can ask ourselves the question: whose turn is it? Each of us can find ourselves in this situation for something that we might have said.”