Monday, August 20, 2012

Cameroun Wins First Prize


The Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization recently proclaimed that Cameroun is in a state of law. If we presume that a man of his standing knows the meaning of being in a state of law, one cannot help lightly dismissing his proclamation as barefaced misrepresentation. Holding in the alternative that he is ignoramus would be tantamount to making the imputation that ours is a government of mediocrities! The resultant damage to the image of our beloved fatherland in the circumstance would more than outweigh the damage the minister initially sought to avert. That is not our goal!

Therefore do we merely wish to remind Mr. Minister that there are notorious general principles of law that command strict observance in all civilized societies governed by the rule of law. We propose to
limit our purpose here to just two of them.

The one is that justice must be rendered expeditiously. The common expression is justice delayed is justice denied. Mr. Minister knows full well that some of his colleagues have been in prison custody for
some five years now without charge. Most prominent are Mrs. Haman Adama and the former Secretary of State for Public Health. Even Prime Minister Inoni Ephraim, months after his arrest, is still to be told
why he has been arrested!

The other principle is the avoidance of double jeopardy. Strictly speaking, the principle seeks to avert the trial of the accused more than once for the same offence. In practice, however, justice requires
that all the charges against the same accused should be filed in the same proceeding in order to avert multiple proceedings. The rationale here is to protect the weak against abusive process by those in

But that principle ceased to be applicable in Cameroun about a decade ago when the line between criminal and political offences became blurred or even obliterated. Several are cases where fresh charges have been brought against persons who have served their sentences through. Cases there have been where persons acquitted have been remanded in prison custody on the ground that fresh charges would be brought against them. Not any less have there been cases where fresh charges have been filed at different intervals against persons already convicted.

In his current capacity, Mr. Minister knows these cases more than anyone else. We still wish, with his leave, to refresh his memory with the cases of Titus Edzoa, Atangana Mebara, Paul Eric Kingue, Zacheus

Holding that Cameroun in the face of all this is still in a state of law has surely won our dear country a big prize – the prize of GROTESQUE FALSEHOOD! And one would daresay that, as the team leader,
Mr. Minister’s medal must be the Prime Minister’s Office: quite close to the throne of Lucifer! Congratulations, Mr. (Prime) Minister!

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