As the title implies, Eneta vs. Elimo (published in 2008 by Édition CLÉ, Yaoundé), is a duel between two ladies, Eneta and Elimo, depicted in drama and set in Cameroon. At only 86 pages, this is a relatively short but action-packed read.
Elimo is the Directress of a government institution, and deliberately withholds dossiers that are brought to her office. She gives various excuses, such as purported loss of the dossier, all with the aim of extorting money. On one occasion this ruse leads to the death of Amadu. On another occasion it leads to the death of Ebone’s twin babies. On yet another occasion it leads to the loss of the opportunity for Eneta to apply for a scholarship.
Having been deprived of this opportunity, enterprising Eneta vows to triumph, puts aside her law degree and launches into petty commercial activities, selling an assortment of items – fried, sugary snack made out of flour called chinchin, boiled eggs, cosmetics, underwear, hair products, garri (grains made from grating cassava tubers and roasting the fermented pulp) and eru, a vegetable also traditionally called afang in Nigeria, and botanically called Gnetum africanum. With the proceeds of this trade she enrolls for post-graduate studies in Nigeria, and on completion, passes the bar-entrance examination. She then returns to Cameroon and sets up a law practice.
All the while, Eneta maintains a romantic relationship with her boy-friend, Enoh. But somewhat discouraged with this relationship because Enoh was unemployed, she welcomes Egbe’s overtures.
The first client to knock on her door is Ebone, and this becomes her first legal case ever to handle, pitting Ebone against Elimo! She sees this offer to defend Ebone as an opportunity to not only fight for the emancipation of down-trodden women by privileged, cruel and selfish women, but as an opportunity for a personal vendetta.
Apprehensive, Elimo also hires a lawyer and a legal battle ensues. Arraigned in court, Elimo and her lawyer try to argue her innocence, but Eneta tenders the damning evidence of a note, which Elimo herself wrote two years after Ebone had deposited her dossier declaring that Ebone’s file was missing. Eneta proves the impossibility of this dossier going missing in her office, and shows that the accused, Elimo, deliberately hid it.
In her argument, Eneta also cites the shocking case of Amadu, whose dossier was purported by Elimo to be missing. One day, Amadu went to buy roasted groundnuts near the Ministry and to his astonishment and shock, was served the groundnuts in a piece of paper which was actually torn from an application he had submitted to Elimo, and which Elimo had claimed was missing.
In the final verdict, Elimo is found guilty of hiding Ebone’s file, an action which led to the death of her twins, and sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour and a fine of 10 million francs cfa (US$20,000). If her file had not been hidden, Ebone should have been paid 752,000 cfa (US$1,504) by the government, and she would have saved the lives of her twin children.
Meanwhile, Eneta’s burgeoning relationship with Egbe flops when it becomes obvious in court that Egbe is Elimo’s nephew. Egbe’s outburst in court leads to his arrest and he being charged for contempt of court. Meanwhile, Enoh finds employment as the managing director of an accounting firm. Can he and Eneta work rekindle their faltering relationship?