What is alarming about this current investigation is the fact that Inge Alia Bongo, a California resident and still legal and abandoned wife of President Ali Bongo, has also been sent a subpoena to testify pursuant to an official criminal investigation of the entire family. The troubles in the matrimonial home of the first lady and her spouse has been vastly documented over the years and scandal has been a constant; Ali’s marriage to a French woman, Sylvia Valentin Bongo has been at the forefront of this saga. Having converted to Islam, allowing him to have more than one wife the scandal is hardly that he married another wife but in the obvious neglect of his first wife who according to American laws, Inge Bongo would be entitled to alimony or financial support should there be a dissolution of their marriage. Ali and Inge Bongo were married for 29years in the United States and have 3children together.
September 4, 2009, ABC news published an article stating, “Gabon’s First Lady lives on Food Stamps in California”. She however, since 2009 has been struggling financially despite being the first lady of the very wealthy Ali Bongo. Another article by TMZ states, “The President of Gabon in West Africa has 2 wives with very different lives … one who lives in the presidential palace and the other who’s on welfare”.
Inge’s testimony in court given her current financial hurdles amidst being the first lady may further implicate the president whose ailing health and political challenges are heavy now for the nation of Gabon. The new first lady Sylvia Bongo may also be seriously implicated due to her current involvement in running the affairs of the country,making political appointments and all financial decisions for the nation. This goes to warn African leaders who currently waste the capital resources of their nations in foreign countries to think twice. The Immigrant Magazine has no knowledge of what this case is specifically about, but can infer that just like the legal turmoil faced by Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Guinea Equatorial and Denis Sassou Nguessou and family of Congo Brazzaville, the U.S Department of Justice is watching and tracking how African leaders are using their nations’ financial resources abroad. Most African leaders have been known to notoriously use their countries’ finances to increase their personal and family net worth while neglecting the health and vital infrastructural needs of their countries. With the Bongo family dynasty at its helm for over 50years, Gabon is one of the countries in West Africa with major oil reserves and oil money, yet the stark difference between the haves and have nots continues to be a problem.
The Immigrant Magazine also tried contacting Inge Bongo for comment but were unable to reach her. This is a developing story. The Immigrant Magazine will give updates about this investigation as it unfolds.