People’s Action Party, PAP Writes Open Letter to Minister of Justice.

The Justice and Peace Committee of People’s action Party – PAP – has been petitioned and we do faithfully narrate as follows:
One Ekwalla Njie Samuel was duly enthroned the chief of Bonadikombo on the 18th February, 2005. CDC subsequently ceded land to his community and the land was allocated to the various families of the chiefdom, with some parcels reserved for the community in common.
Another administrator (name withheld for now) took office and apparently struck a deal with a certain Esombe Nanyowe with an eye on the land. He procured the latter to organize a ceremony in his compound, disguised as the ceremonial ground for a tour of the chiefdom by the administrator…
Only for the administrator to get up sooner after his arrival and brandish a document, declaring it was from Yaounde; and that from then on, the chief of Bonadikombo was Esombe Nanyowe… The Fako chiefs present, the notables of the village and the majority of the population walked away in spontaneous protest…
The President and the Secretary General of Fako Chiefs’ Conference petitioned against the rather unorthodox means of selecting a chief without consultation talks as by law required. Three king makers also did likewise. To seal their deal and safeguard their booty, The “ousted” chief was handed over to the Limbe court for his apparent forgery of a birth certificate, reportedly established when the “ousted” chief was only four years of age. The court convicted and sentenced him to one year in prison all the same. We take seriously the allegation that the court was messed up because it is elementary law that there is no criminal liability at any age up to ten years…
When the administrator later left Limbe, he embarked upon further illegal moves to secure his land. By sordid machinations, witnesses were heard at the Limbe Gendarmerie Company by two individuals claiming to have come from the “Service Central des Recherches Judiciaire a la Gendarmerie Nationale a Yaounde” on June 3, 2013, apparently on Esombe Nanyowe’s complaint about false report, threat and usurpation of title…. Four days later, on June 7, the three king makers were interrogated at Bonadikombo. On July 25, the three were picked up from their houses at Bonadikombo, ferried to Yaounde, and locked up…
They were rushed to court the next day where charges were trumped up in French against them. We all know of course that the language the people of Bonadikombo are familiar with is English. Lucky as they were, they saw a lawyer who could hear them in English. They were directed to plead not guilty and so they did. They were released on bail under circumstances too ugly to state here. They have been going to court at least once a month ever since…
On April 2, 2015, the three “accused” filed a complaint with the police at Bonadikombo that they had been confronted with an apparent complaint addressed to the “Directeur de la Police Judiciaire, Yaounde” written on :Lundi, le 10 avril 2014”, bearing telephone number: 51 42 38 03, and said to have been written by them; whereas their petition of 2010 was written in English, bearing their telephone numbers and signatures.
Worthy of note too is that, whereas Esombe knows little French (reportedly without even O’level), he was said to have written a complaint at “Yaounde, le 8 mai 2014” a “Monsieur le Procureur de la Republique, Pres le Tribunal de Premiere Instance Yaounde – Centre Administratif Yaounde” in some decent French. God alone knows why to the State Counsel of Yaounde, and why in French!
The crux of the matter though is that, even as the alleged offences were said to have been committed at Bondikombo; the investigation was conducted in Limbe; the accused were arrested at Bonadikombo and ferried to Yaounde; the court fraudulently trumped up charges that the offences were committed in Yaounde within the jurisdiction of the “Tribunal de Premiere Instance Yaounde – Centre Administratif”.
Counsel for the accused raised an objection in limine, arguing very correctly that the Yaounde Court of First Instance has no jurisdiction over an offence committed within the jurisdiction of another court (in another region), where all the witnesses and all the accused do reside. When the lawyer was overruled, he lodged an appeal for the opinion of the Court of Appeal on the issue of jurisdiction.
Mr. Minister does know more than we do that an appeal operates as stay of proceeding in the circumstance. But the court insists on going on with the case and is in fact so doing! If the court has no vested interest, why such patent disregard for the law of the land? We would hate to imagine that the court is so ignorant as not to know such elementary notions; even as we are tempted so to hold from the lay language in the charges which does indicate a rather abysmal knowledge of the law!
We hold that this amounts to oppression and denial of justice; and that this is a proper case for the Ministry of Justice to intervene. All the more so as the accused are impecunious retired civil servants, aged between 69 and 80, who are made to travel from Bonadikombo to Yaounde and back every month on the whims and caprices of a rather funny court!
And we do so submit.
Yours faithfully,
June 29, 2015 

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