The president of Equatorial Guinea may not be a household name – however those who have survived his brutal regime claim he is pure evil.
The 74-year-old took control of the country in 1979, and is referred to as the “torturer-in-chief” following his reported sadism
He is the fearsome Central African Republic dictator who rules his country with an iron-fist and allegedly skins enemies alive and eats their testicles and livers.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is Africa’s longest serving leader having been in power since 1979.
He extended his rule in April when he was re-elected with 93.7 per cent of the vote. The opposition claimed at least 200 of its members were barred from voting.
He seized power from his tyrannic uncle three decades ago and had him executed by firing squad.
The new president relaxed some of the restrictions of his predecessor – such as a ban on the Catholic Church – but kept the absolute control he inherited.
Over the years ‘the torturer in chief’ has accumulated huge wealth while most Equatorial Guineas remain in crushing poverty, with little or no access to decent healthcare or education.
The country has become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer in recent years, but the wealth is not shared across the nation.
Most shockingly, the 74-year-old – who is viewed as being one of the world’s most brutal dictators – has been accused of cannibalism by his political opponents.
One rival, Severo Moto, recalled how Obiang had ‘just devoured a political commissioner…I say devoured because this commissioner was buried without the testicles and the brain.’
‘[He] wants me to go back to Guinea … [so he can] eat my testicles.’
Elsewhere, a presidential aide revealed during a show on state radio how the leader was ‘in permanent contact with the Almighty’.
He said: ‘He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, and who gives him this strength.’
It comes as his playboy son will go on trial in France on charges of plundering his country to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Paris.
Teodorin Obiang, currently vice president, is accused of using the proceeds of corruption and embezzlement to fund an array of luxury purchases, from private jets and top properties to pop star Michael Jackson’s famous white glove.
Obiang Senior has also been pursued in French courts for allegedly plundering state coffers to buy luxury homes and cars in France.
The trial will be the first arising from a series of landmark investigations in France into the alleged ill-gotten gains of a handful of African leaders.
Prosecutors will show how Obiang, now 47, amassed French assets worth several tens of millions of euros between 2007 and 2011, ‘either directly or through front men or shell companies’, a source close to the investigation said.
Obiang was agriculture minister for his father Teodoro Obiang Nguema in the tiny central African nation at the time, earning a government salary of under $100,000 (89,000 euros) a year.
He will face charges of laundering the proceeds of corruption, embezzlement, misuse of public funds and breach of trust.
US authorities have also pursued Obiang junior, accusing him of racking up more than $300 million through embezzlement, extortion and money laundering.
In October 2014, he was forced to turn over more than $30 million in ill-gotten gains – including a Malibu villa, a Ferrari and Michael Jackson memorabilia.
He managed, however, to hang onto the white glove Jackson wore during his ‘Bad’ tour.
Other leaders under investigation in France include Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the late Omar Bongo of Gabon and Francois Bozize, former president of the Central African Republic.