Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cameoon:Buea Royal Family Dismisses Petition Against Hon.Lifaka As Political Plot.

*Says the Vice Speaker is a respectable
leader & peace promoter

By Christopher Ambe

The Wonya Likenye Royal Family, which designates the Paramount Chief of Buea, has disowned a baseless and seemingly libelous petition against Hon.Emilia Lifaka,Vice President of Cameroon’s National Assembly,  recently sent to the President of same National Assembly and copied other authorities.
Hon. Emilia Lifaka 
    The said petition purportedly written by some members of the Wonya Likenye Royal Family accuses Hon.Lifaka of meddling in the succession affairs of  Buea Paramount Chieftaincy , following the death of Chief SML Endeley.
     But in a rebuttal, four respectable elders of the Royal Family have dismissed the petition against Hon.Lifaka,whom they describe as a highly respected leader and peace promoter, as the handiwork of her political enemies.
   Chief SML Endeley died in July 2015 at the age of 92 after serving as the Paramount ruler of the first- class chiefdom of Buea for 25 years.
    But the selection of Robert Essuka Endeley as heir by the Royal Family sparked some controversy, especially after a June 26, 2016 enlarged Buea Royal Traditional Council meeting, chaired by Dr.Humphrey Ekema Monono.
   Below is a facsimile of the rebuttal addressed to the President of Cameroon’s National Assembly by the Buea Royal Family, which The Recorder procured :


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Popular Action Party Reacts to President Biya's laptop gift to University Freshmen :

Akoson Raymond, Secretary-General of PAP,making an awareness call to Cameroonians

*Says the gesture is a bait !

* That the monetary equivalent of Biya's 500,000 mini laptop computers could provide at least 6,000 jobs with a salary of 100,000 Frs per month for the next ten years!

The Minister of Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo signed communiqué No. 16.000/MINESUP/CAB/nn on July 26, 2016 explaining Biya’s regime’s “Plan Special Jeunes”. China’s Sichuan Telecom Construction Engineering Co. Ltd has been contracted to supply 500,000 pieces of mini computers to university students. This will gulp down 75 Billion Francs of borrowed money from China’s EXIM Bank.

The Popular Action Party(PAP) ,amongst other issues, pick the following:

• PAP notes that the government failed to inform the Cameroonian people of the interest rates of this loan that the country shall incur within this ten year period. We ask that such figures be made known immediately;

• Such venture is very bad investment and a complete waste of resources.

Much as computers are vital for research and other academic course work, PAP believe that, this does not beat urgent priority projects on Cameroon’s development totem pole such as fighting the scourge of unemployment, provision of potable drinking water to every household, mechanise agricultural practices, putting meaning to the words, ‘free primary education’ etc. Let us randomly consider the issue of combating unemployment.
75 Billions can do a lot! Go also, to our state budget line by line and cut back on fuel, so-called out-station allowances and other reckless spending such as entertainment. Put all of these together and create factories across the country that would finish our raw materials … create a name for the country as a manufacturing hub in the region.

And by the way, in case this embarrassment of a regime didn’t know, 75 Billions could provide six thousand jobs to youths with a monthly salary of 100,000 Frs for the next ten years.
• The bidding process to pick Sichuan Telecom Construction Engineering Co. Ltd is mired in mystery and constitutes a very bad deal for Cameroon.

At the press conference of Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo, he brandished a sample of the said computers. This shows that what the government intends to supply are only mini laptop computers. The Intelligence Unit of PAP National Strategic Team contacted seven major laptop manufacturers in China’s leading manufacturing city of Shenzhen namely Shenzhen Yu Chuang Xing Ye Technology Co., Ltd; Shenzhen Yongjing Digital Limited Company; Shenzhen Sanwo Digital Technology Co., Ltd; Shenzhen Yyhong Technology Co., Limited; Shenzhen Sayirin Technology Co., Limited; Shenzhen Hisent Science & Technology Co., Ltd and Shenzhen BOCOOR Technology Com Ltd and requested for Pro forma Invoices (PI) for the highest grade quality of 500,000 mini laptop computers with each having a warranty of 2 years. Lo and behold, the prices ranged from 52 dollars (29,350 Frs) to 79 dollars (46,373 Frs) per piece [Current exchange rate is [1 USD = 587 XAF].

A mean of the best prices these factories accept to provide is 65.5 dollars (38,448.5 Frs). Now, if government is buying 500,000 mini laptop computers for a whopping 150,000 Frs per piece, it is either a very bad deal or some ministers have added mouth-watery commissions – four times greater than the actual cost – a scenario capable of ‘under-developing’ the Cameroonian people.

• It is a bait president Biya is using to impress upon the youths as elections draw to a close.

Biya’s so-called “Special Plan for the Youths” is a mockery to the young people of Cameroon. PAP believes that it is the youths who ought to be the actual commanders of their destiny and not some octogenarian who is tired, unproductive and lazy!
The youths must remember that as per the research carried out by the School of Gerontology, Southern California University in 2011, cognitive ability depreciates with age. That explains why, in 1981, the IMF reported Cameroon’s economic growth rate stood at some 12.25%. The minds presiding over the country at the time were young, vibrant and energetic.

Joseph Owona became director of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) in 1976, "when he was all of thirty-one years old" (Martin Mayer, The Diplomats, p. 162); Bello Bouba Maigari became Paul Biya’s Prime Minister in 1982 at 35; Dorothy Njeuma, who until a few years ago was still the Rector of the University of Yaounde (I) became Vice Minister of Education in 1975 when she was 32 years old; Nzo Ekangaki was 28 years old when he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1962, and 38 when he was elected Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU); Paul Bamela Engo, currently a judge at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, was 33 years old when he became a Minister Counselor at the Cameroon Embassy in Bonn, Germany in 1964 and 38 when he was elevated to the rank of a Minister Plenipotentiary in 1969, Kamdem Niyim became Minister of Health in 1964 at the age of 23, etc., etc.

Fast forward to 2004 when our economic growth rate plummeted to 4.2%. Those governing? Tired, lazy, unproductive gerontocracy!
These old men cannot pretend to be designing a future for us they won’t live to see.

And as the PAP Chieftain, Ayah Paul Abine always puts it to the youths, "the red sea may not part in our days. We need a bridge to cross to the other side ... that bridge is PAP"

PAP strongly advise the youths to guard against such game of hoodwink by the Biya regime at the wake of elections.

AKOSON A. Raymond
PAP Secretary General

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cameroon:Southwest-based advocates, law students deepen understanding of Human Rights issues

*By Zakah Mbako Josepher   
Lawyers and advocates-in-training (pupil lawyers) based in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, as well as law students of the University of Buea have deepened their understanding of Human Rights issues at a one day seminar, which took place, Friday July 29,at Chariot Hotel Buea.
   The Recorder understands that by mastering Human Rights and its related problems, lawyers are better positioned to educate their clients and defend them in the courts of law, especially in the current context in Cameroon where the situation of human rights promotion is begging for great improvement.
   The seminar, which held under the theme “Lawyers and Human Rights”, was organized by the Cameroon Bar Association (CBA) in partnership with European Union (EU).
   The training brought over 300 participants and was opened by Barrister Mboke Divine, sitting in for the President (Batonnier) of the CBA.
   Resource persons included Dr. Patience Sone of the University of Buea and Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, who is also President of Fako Lawyers’ Association (FAKLA).
 Barrister Agbor Balla, who presented a paper on “The Application of Human Rights Law in Lawyering”, noted:
 “Lawyers have long functioned as architects as well as artisans of social reform, redesigning, reshaping, and creating not only legal institutions, but social, economic and political institutions as well.
He cited the early 1960s when “lawyers of all backgrounds, young and old, joined the civil rights movement en masse and made it possible for Dr.Martin Luther King Jr,to fashion the most successful civil rights movement in history, one based upon a willingness to go to jail for passive resistance to immoral laws”
  Barrister Agbor Balla further noted, “The lawyer owes entire devotion to the interest of his client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of clients’ rights and exertion of his utmost learning and ability, to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from him, save the rule of law legally applied”
   Harping on the respect for Human rights, the Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa 
 “Without the reciprocal expectation that states will respect their treaty obligations, the community of nations would become nothing more than a Hobbesian jungle governed by a Darwinian paradigm where only the strongest and fittest states survive”
  Homosexuality was one of the controversial topics of discussion at the seminar.
  Although sexual orientation is considered Human Rights, in Cameroon homosexuality/lesbianism is a criminal act.
   According to Cameroon Penal Code (Section 347), “Whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment for from six months to five years and a fine of from 20,000frs to 200,000frs.”
   A Participant, pupil lawyer Fred Luma, sought to know," Since Human Right is said to be divine in nature, will I be right to say that homosexuality is not a human right since it has no divinity in it?”
   But his doubt was cleared by resource person  Dr.Patience Sone who said homosexuality is a case that is judged based on the principle of equality ,citing Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,which states, “ All human beings  are born free and equal in dignity and rights".
She further argued that inasmuch as God himself had to destroy the City of Sodom and Gomorrah because of this sin, the revolution of human rights over the years has come to the conclusion that, everyone should be treated equally and without discrimination and this includes the minority who advocate and or engage in homosexuality. With regards to the divine nature of human rights, she argued that, this doesn't mean that all human rights are given by God; that some are man-made and unanimously accepted by the UN to be implemented.
  Buttressing Dr. Sone, Barrister Agbor Balla said like other minority cases, homosexuality should be judged based on the existing law and not on personal doctrines.
  For his part, former Batonnier Etta Bessong said as long as the advocate defends both the saint and the devil, “What is punishable by the law of a country, should be prosecuted in the light of that prohibition.”
  Talking to the Recorder, Pupil lawyer Bessem Ashu Agbor of Mamangie Chambers in Limbe, appreciated the seminar, noting it has broadened the intellectual knowledge of lawyers on Human Rights and its implementation
He opined that the Human Right situation of the country is “deplorable”, citing the frequent arrest and detention of Southern Cameroon national Council (SCNC) activists for advocating the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroons. “This is a violation of the right of self determination”, she said, adding that “the prohibition of homosexuality in the country is an abuse against minority rights
  Barrister Agbor Balla, in his closing remarks, urged lawyers to educate themselves well and do their best in the defense of Human Rights of people.

* Zakah Mbako Josepher is a University of Buea Journalism Student on Internship

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cameroon: Human Rights Expert Scandalizes Buea Mayor, Vows to Expose His "Corrupt Practices"

By Christopher Ambe

If the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, has skeletons in his cupboard, then he may now be living in fear following a serious threat in an official letter addressed to him and copied among others, the Prime Minister of  Cameroon, by Tambe Tiku Christopher, an out-spoken Human Rights Expert and Southwest Regional Secretary of Cameroon’s National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF).

Mayor Ekema Patrick
Rights ActivistTambe Tiku
Tambe Tiku, who is also a law lecturer in the University of Buea, in the letter, a copy of which The Recorder has procured, promises: “I will provide a catalogue of all your corrupt practices.” He also faults the Mayor for the latter’s alleged numerous weaknesses.

 The letter is a sharp reaction to the mayor’s earlier riposte to Tambe Tiku’s official letter accusing Ekema Patrick of flagrantly violating the rights of Buea Council workers. The mayor’s riposte had carried damaging allegations about the Human rights activist Tiku Tambe who Recently Shot into Prominence.

Following is Tambe Tiku’s letter to the mayor, which is also published in some Cameroon’s English newspapers:


Mr. Mayor,

Subject: Abuse of office Against Individuals in your Municipality.

Your letter of the 8th instant with several grammatical flaws refers.

Mr. Mayor, the facts that are relevant for the purpose of the subject at hand are authoritatively set out in my previous correspondence to you. Instead of elucidating on the two issues evoked, you decided to embark on a seemingly scurrilous attack on my humble person, profession and social life.

The nub of the legal questions you raised is to discern whether your decision to suspend a staff’s salary for 11 months is legal or not? Of particular interest to the writer hereof is the preposterous manner in which your office has subjected staff to inhuman and degrading treatment. In mala fide, you escaped from the threat to demolish Madam Enow sally’s structure and the forceful removal of her firewood from her residence by the municipal police.

Mr. Mayor, may I remind you that your academic deficiencies have been demonstrated in the manner in which you address state institutions. It is sad to note that you copied the president of the Electoral Board and ELECAM and addressed him as “BOD Chair, ELECAM Yaoundé “. It gives one the impression that you lack the intellectual capacity to master the office you are called upon to manage. This situation is further exacerbated by your own ignorance to copy the Head of State.

 Mr. Mayor I would like to contend that you erred in the appreciation of my professional competence as a Regional Secretary. Suffice for now to say simply that my modest upbringing does not permit me to engage into such debate with social miscreants. My works are visible on the ground for verification.

  You reminded me on past comments I made against some corrupt officials in the region. I would like to reiterate without reservation that in as much as the land saga in which you are highly implicated is concerned, I owe no apology whatsoever to anyone. You shamelessly usurped land belonging to wonjuku, sold and built your girlfriend a house. You used council resources and proceeds from the land to buy furniture from OCAR, Douala. May I remind you that the said woman in question is engaged to my brother who is resident in South Africa. Her bride price was paid to Chief Banda of Lysoka Moliwe and till date no refunds have been made. Where is your conscience, Mr. Lord Mayor?

As pointed out earlier, the land grabbing which you masterminded was a conspiracy to defraud the indigenes of their ancestral lands. The whole conspiracy issue was pursued in the most immoderate, irresponsible, and scurrilous manner and fully deserved the description “vexatious”
Mr. Mayor I erroneously thought you were a faith-based mayor. On the contrary, you have lost your moral and religious compass and veers towards beliefs and practices that are religiously indefensible.  Based on the authority of the teachings of Paul in the book of Romans, Christians reason that the mission of Government is to serve Christ no matter whether a government is conscious or unconscious of this mission. That is why the bible urges Christians to yield to rulers. It therefore stands to reason that if a mayor (an agent of Government) ceases to serve Christ, if it ceases to be guided by Christian faith, values and principles, it may be subverted and a new one amenable to serving Christ instituted.

For as Martin Luther said Government is instituted in order to provide for the best interest of its subjects. And the bible says in proverbs 28:15 “like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over poor people”
I have no doubt that I am merely throwing water on a duck’s back. Even the wet nose of a lawyer who happens to be your minder lacks the obvious intellectual capacity to guide you. You must have been informed of cobwebs in his academic drawer.

Interestingly, Mr. Mayor, you have accused your so-called “minor staff” for “disruptive misconduct”, a crime I am hearing for the first time. May I remind you that your disciplinary powers extend only to acts which constitute breaches of contract by the employee. You have no criminal jurisdiction over your employees. Although an employee’s misconduct may amount to both a breach of the employment contract and criminal offence, you have shown no evidence that a formal complaint was lodged at the legal department for “disruptive misconduct”.

 Mr. Mayor you amazed me in your usage of the Queens language. You talk of alcohol and spirits as if to say they are different concepts. I admit unequivocally that from time to time I socialize with responsible Cameroonian youths at TOTAL   and educate them on their fundamental human rights. That is why there is a lot of awareness in the area of human rights in the Buea municipality. We take the sensitization of human rights in the area of comfort of the stakeholders. TOTAL is a very convenient place for me because by all standards it is the cleanest Café in Buea. Mr. Mayor, you are dishonest to give the impression that you have never acquainted yourself with my so-called “drinking parlor”. It is on record that, you drank at TOTAL, got drunk and forgot your fire arm (illegally possessed) which you used in threatening innocent Cameroonians on the table.

Finally, Mr. Mayor, you erred in your definition of corruption by extrapolating from CONAC’s definition. I would like to take an exception regard being had to the fact that the meaning you purport to give to corruption is inexhaustive. I crave your indulgence to return to this subject at a later date. I will provide a catalogue of all your corrupt practices.

Accept Mr. Mayor the assurance of my High esteem,
Yours sincerely,

Mr. Tambe Tiku Christopher


·        The Prime minister and Head of Government
·        The minister of territorial Administration and Decentralization
·        The President of the Electoral Board and ELECAM
·        The Governor, SWR
·        The SDO, Fako
·        The Attorney General (PG) SWR
·        The State Counsel Buea
Above for your information and necessary action when and where need arises.

Commissioning of Fako 3 CPDM Executives: Central Committee Head Reasserts Section President’s Authority

*Calls for Dialogue & Reconciliation

By Christopher Ambe
Fako  Permanent  Divisional Delegation of CPDM Central Committee at the commissioning ceremony
Self-seeking members of Cameroon’s ruling CPDM who in the past undermined the authority of their section presidents may have their days in the party numbered if, henceforth, they fail to be law-abiding.
   Hon. Emilia Lifaka, Vice-President of Cameroon’s National Assembly and Head of Fako Permanent Divisional Delegation of CPDM Central Committee, on Saturday, issued the warning while commissioning into office the new executive bodies of the three wings of the party in Buea(Fako 3 Section),which she charged  with teaching by example.
   The Fako 3 executive bodies are: the CPDM headed by Mafany David Namange, WCPDM headed by Hannah Etonde Mbua and YCPDM led by Franklin Njie
Hon. Lifaka talking to the press
“The Section president remains the political boss of his section”, Hon.Lifika said, attracting cheers in the CNPS hall, Mile 17, where the ceremony took place.
  “Dear Militants I wish to emphasize that it is only the Section President who has the mandate to convene party meetings at the level of the section; the subsection president, at the level of the subsection; the Branch President, at the level of the branch and the Cell President, at the level of the cell.
  “Any other militant inviting CPDM militants to any meeting without the consent and authorization of the president as mentioned above will be doing that in total violation of the basic Text of the party”
   The emphasis, The Recorder learned, was provoked by the fact that in the past some self-seeking members, usurping the functions of their president, convened meetings fueling division in the section.
  Hon.Lifaka urged the executives “to triple your efforts and start mobilizing militants immediately in order to guarantee the political future of Buea,a legendary subdivision.”
   She advised them, “Do not forget that elections are not won in advance; it is through proper planning and coordination of party activities that will lead our party to victory”      
Section Pres.Mafany Namange (right) with aides
   Noting that the renewal of the CPDM basic organs had ended and validated by Party Chair Paul Biya,Hon.Lifaka implored the section to close “ranks, forgive and forget about accusations and counter accusations made during the reorganization of the basic organs of the party. Let us bury our differences and focus on the future as it is only through collective efforts that we shall continue to maintain our political lead in the South West Region”
She continued, “I therefore entreat you all to work for the success of the party in Fako 3 and..ensure that party discipline ,mutual respect and unity reign in your section”
  Calling for post-reorganization dialogue and reconciliation, the central Committee envoy also appealed to youth who have attained the voting age to enroll in ELECAM voter register.
   She conveyed messages of goodwill from the Secretary -General of the Central Committee of the party, Jean kuete and from Senator Peter Mafany Musonge, leader of the Permanent Regional Delegation of the CPDM Central Committee for the Southwest Region to the Section
Hon.Lifaka also used the occasion to call for vigilance in the wake of Boko Haram Insurgency. 
Ex- Pres. Mbella Moki (right) hails David Namange
   In his acceptance speech, the new Fako 3 CPDM Section President, Mafany David Namange , promised that they would live up to expectation. He hailed the immediate past president, Senator Charles Mbella Moki, for his exemplary leadership.
   The highly- animated ceremony was attended by the traditional rulers of Buea subdivision, and dignitaries such as former Fako 3 section presidents  Hon. Arthur Lisinge,MP for Buea Urban and Senator Charles Mbella Moki,
and Frankline Njie,General Manager of Cameroon Development corporation(CDC)
   Reacting to their commissioning, Prof.Ernest L. Molua of the University of Buea, who is the Media & Communications Officer for Fako 3 CPDM new executive body, remarked, “The installation of Fako 3 CPDM executives is a classic fulfillment of Cameroon’s Democratic ideals to animate the political landscape of the country. Our team is one of vision, hope and progress that will contribute to the achievement of President Biya’s vision to make Cameroon great”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Suspected Lesbian found dead

By Theo  Ngumanwa Jr.
The body of an alleged lesbian was last July 19 discovered in Ngyen Mbo, an outskirt of Mbengwi .Eye witness accounts said the deceased, identified as Susannah Afor aged over 30, was found near an abandoned uncompleted building adjacent to Muna Junction, towards Bamenda.
      The woman, believed to have been lynched, lay in her pool of blood. Afor was later identified by some passers-by as a shameless   woman long accused to be gay and who had gone into hiding almost a year ago, after she had reportedly been caught in a lewd act alongside her co-lesbian friend, one Gilly
     Both had narrowly missed death from a mob, thanks to the intervention of some law enforcement officers who happened to be nearby, it was earlier reported.
Some natives of Mbengwi, who have first hand information about the incident, claimed that Sussanah was returning to her hiding place, following an attack by neighboring Bali natives who dispute the land with Ngyen-Mbo.
     On-site examination of her corpse showed lacerations from stabbing with sharp and blunt objects, presumably knives and building rods, some of which could be seen in the bush nearby with blood stains.  Investigations are going to identify the killers.
     According to Pa Timoh, an elderly man   in the neighborhood, “At first, we thought it was an attack from Bali. But my son asked me if it is Bali, then why only one person attacked? It is on close examination that we identified her. She is a notorious prostitute and lesbian.”
     Another observer, who claimed to be the deceased’s family member but preferred to be cited on anonymity  told reporters that Sussanah’s death is regretted but added  that  her lewdness  had  brought shame to her family, after multiple failed marriages in which she bore no children,

   Others wondered how she had been let free, considering that she had been reported to the security officers lice for lesbianism several times.
      For the record, article 347 of Cameroon Penal Code criminalizes sexual contacts with  members of the same sex with a penalty of 6 months to 5 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to CFA 200.000.
   While European and American countries have taken desperate moves to promote homosexual lifestyles in Cameroon by linking aid to tolerance of gays and lesbians, Cameroon, through its Head of State, Paul Biya, has remained resolutely pro-family, insisting that our culture has no place for people who practice sexual cannibalism and sacrilege in the name of gay and lesbian love. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cameroon: PM satisfied with Female AFCON Preparatory Works

  By Zakah Mbako Josepher*
    Prime Minister Philemon Yang who led a delegation that included Minister of Sports and Physical Education Bidoung Mpkatt, and Fecafoot President Tombi A Roko, to Buea and Limbe on July 18 for an on-the-spot inspection of construction works with respect to Cameroon’s hosting of the 2016 female African Nations Cup (AFCON) come November, expressed satisfaction at the steady progress of work.
    It was in September 2014 that Cameroon won the bid to host this year’s female AFCON and the 2019 African Nations Cup.
Molyko Buea Omnisport Stadium being rehabilitated
    The PM’s visit yesterday to Buea and Limbe was the second in a little over two months, aimed at ensuring that the construction and rehabilitation of earmarked stadia and hotels go as planned.
     Construction works on the Buea Town Green and Molyko stadia, the Limbe Centenary stadium, Bota-Limbe Middle farm play ground, as well as the  Limbe Omnisport stadium and its  parking space are at advanced stages
     Also, infrastructural improvements at state-owned hotels such as the Limbe Atlantic Beach Hotel,Buea Mountain Hotel and Parliamentarian Flats Hotel,Buea are now very visible. 
Prime Minister Yang at Molyko stadium
    The PM also paid a visit to National female football team at their training ground in Limbe to encourage them.
   After a working session with all stakeholders involved in the on-going AFCON projects,Premier Yang said most but not all of the works have been completed and urged for their completion according to specifications.
    “If all goes well the tournament will take place in this country in the best of circumstances”, he remarked
    At the Molyko Omnisport stadium under construction, the PM and his delegation were warmly welcomed by both Chinese and Cameroonian workers.
    According to Mr. Guattenyan, a Chinese worker at the Molyko stadium, the brief visit of the PM was purposely to see how far work has gone and when its completion is due.
    He said work at the stadium started last November and is 70% done gone and that in two month it should be complete
The Prime Minister congratulated the Chinese contractors on the progress of the work.
    Mr. Ziyang Juxin, a Chinese worker/translator, said some 4.3 billion Fcfa was budgeted for the project including the housing and feeding of the Chinese workers.
  *Zakah Mbako Josepher is a University of Buea Journalism student on internship

Monday, July 18, 2016

UN call for Marafa's release: American Law Professor fires back at Cameroon's Communication Minister

Last Friday, July 15, 2016, the Minister of Communication and Government Spokesman, Mr. Issa Tchiroma Bakary, held a press conference to formally unveil the Cameroon Government's response to the decision of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calling for the immediate release of Mr. Marafa Hamidou Yaya. Minister Tchiroma challenged the decision of the U.N. organ, dismissing it as having no binding effect on Cameroon. The following is the reaction of Mr. Marafa's lawyer, Distinguished Professor Ndiva Kofele Kale, to Mr. Tchiroma's press declaration.
Prof.Kofele kale

Marafa Hamidou Yaya’s Counsel Reacts To Issa Tchiroma’s July 15 Press Statement On The Decision Of The Working Group On Arbitrary Detention
Mr. Tchiroma’s July 15, 2016, press declaration on the recent Decision of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), calling for the immediate release of Mr. Marafa Hamidou Yaya from his arbitrary detention and compensation for his suffering, is political ‘spin doctoring’ at its worst and a poorly-disguised attempt to confuse and distract the Cameroonian public from the real issues at stake. His declaration exudes the unmistakable aroma of a rearguard campaign to dilute the legal significance of this Decision from the point of view of  the Law of Nations. The press statement repeats gosso modo the same worn-out arguments the Government of Cameroon (GOC) presented to the Working Group in their spirited response to Mr. Marafa’s submission; the same arguments its lawyers raised in the Mfoundi High Court as well as the Supreme Court. There is nothing de nouveau here! Will someone please tell Mr. Tchiroma that the Marafa case is now res judicata and he should stop re-litigating it in the press?
It should be recalled that when seised of the matter it took the WGAD almost six months of careful and methodical examination of the GOC’s arguments as well as those of Mr. Marafa’s counsel. It is only after wading through over a thousand pages of documentation that these five eminent and reputable U.N.-appointed jurists, as impartial and independent as they come, concluded that Mr. Marafa had been denied his right to a fair, public trial by competent, impartial and independent judges, in clear violation of GOC’s solemnly and voluntarily-assumed obligations under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Both of these provisions speak to Mr. Marafa’s right to a fair and public trial by competent, independent and impartial judges.
Since Mr. Tchiroma’s press outing seeks to raise a cloud over the binding effect of the Working Group’s Decision, perhaps a brief primer on international law is called for, if for no other reason than to situate, for the benefit of the Cameroonian people, Cameroon’s place in this orbit and her obligations arising thereof. International law is nothing more than the law which States themselves, Cameroon included, have agreed to be bound by either expressly (in treaties) or impliedly (by their conduct). It is this “Law” that the WGAD was set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council—incidentally, the first organ established in 1946 by a newly-established United Nations with a mandate to oversee the protection of human rights across the globe—to monitor compliance by States parties. When Cameroon joined the United Nations in 1960, she expressly agreed to be bound by the Charter of the United Nations, the constitution of the world. Pursuant to the provisions of that Charter, Cameroon together with the other Member States pledged themselves to jointly and severally take action to promote the “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” See United Nations Charter, Articles 55 (c) and 56. 
It should be noted that upon becoming a U.N. Member in 1960, Cameroon automatically agreed to comply with the provisions of the UDHR, the fountain of all subsequent human rights instruments; and Cameroon, on its own volition, free from any external pressure, exercised her rights as an independent sovereign State when it ratified the ICCPR in 1984 together with its Optional Protocol. These instruments which were subsequently incorporated by reference into our Constitution thereby becoming the supreme law of the land are front-and-center in the deliberations of the WGAD that resulted in the Decision they took on Mr. Marafa! 
When sovereign States enter into treaty relationships, their conduct is regulated by the doctrine of pacta sunt servanda, this doctrine is at the core of treaty law and is codified in Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties (“Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith”). In simple language, commitments publicly, formally and voluntarily made by a nation should be honored in good faith. The doctrine of pacta sunt servanda enjoins States parties to a treaty from invoking their internal law as justification for failure to perform. Having been found in violation of her obligations under the UDHR and the ICCPR, I hope Mr. Tchiroma’s press declaration is not intended as an alibi for GOC to brush aside the Decision of the Working Group. Under the doctrine of pacta sunt servanda Cameroon is required to give full faith and credit to that Decision because it emanates from engagements Cameroon took in good faith before the community of Nations which, regrettably she failed to honor and respect in Mr. Marafa’s case!

When an international judicial or quasi-judicial body renders an opinion against a State for failing to comply with its treaty obligations, the defaulting State has no choice but to respect and comply with that ruling. It is this mutual respect for treaty obligations that imposes structure and order in the relationships between States and promotes stability in the international system. Without this reciprocal expectation that States will respect their treaty obligations, the community of nations would become nothing more than a Hobbesian  jungle governed by a Darwinian paradigm where only the strongest and fittest States survive, i.e., powerful nations who can prey on the small and weaker States; using their enormous power to bend the less-powerful to their will.
On a moral level, it is too late for Mr. Tchiroma to raise a cloud over the legal significance of the WGAD’s Decision. That should have been done long before the GOC agreed to participate in the proceedings. The contest was joined from the moment GOC submitted to the jurisdiction of the UN Working Group by filing its pleadings in response to Mr. Marafa’s petition; then consented to the rules of engagement, so to speak, because she had expressly agreed to be bound by the U.N. Charter, the UDHR and the ICCPR. It bears emphasizing that GOC could have done as it did in both the Thierry Atangana and Lydienne Eyoum petitions that preceded Mr. Marafa’s at the WGAD where GOC ignored repeated requests from the WGAD to file an answer. Clearly GOC attached great importance to the Marafa case as evidenced by its willingness to engage in every stage of the proceedings; for that we are immensely grateful. However, Government cannot now ignore this ruling because it went against her. What if Nigeria had refused to respect the International Court of Justice’s judgment on the Bakassi Pennisula?
Cameroon considers herself and wants to be treated with respect as a law-abiding member of the community of nations. Respect is usually earned: here then is an opportunity for GOC to demonstrate its unflinching commitment to the Rule of Law and its deep and abiding attachment to the doctrine of pacta sunt servanda by releasing Mr. Marafa Hamidou Yaya without further delay.
Ndiva Kofele Kale Esq, Counsel for Marafa Hamidou Yaya. Motande Chambers, Buea