Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Maurice Kamto’s Lawyers Take Anglophone Crisis To Constitutional Council

The lingering crisis in the two English Speaking Regions of Cameroon has slipped into submissions at the nation’s Constitutional Council as lawyers defending candidate Maurice Kamto of the MRC party prayed the court to partially annul the October 7th presidential poll.

In separate submissions early Wednesday, Barristers Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla and Ikome Ngongi raised the damages of the crisis in the two regions in relation to the conduct of the Anglophone crisis.

In his sub mission before the Council, Barrister Agbor Balla challenged the domineering use of French at the court whereas the constitution stipulates that, English and French are both official languages.

Agbor averred that, the unity of the nation was as stake. He urged the Council to look beyond the laws in place and listen to the voice of Cameroonians. Agbor surmised that, the challenges facing Cameroon are the consequence of the government refusing to listen to the Anglophone lawyers when they raised concerns in October 2016.
Maurice Kamto’s Lawyers Take Anglophone Crisis To Constitutional Council
Holding brief for Kamto, the former Fako Lawyers’ Association President said he is not a politician but he came to defend the MRC candidate because he incarnates unity and the change Cameroonians are yearning for.

Before ending his submission, Agbor Balla told the court that, most ministers of Anglophone extraction and elite are unable to go to their villages because they refused to listen to the people. He reminded the council members that, things have changed and the court of public opinion is watching the pace of things.

Balla then progressed to submit that, agents of the MRC candidates were chased at various polling stations. This he said is the outcome of the administrative set up put in place to favour the incumbent.

Then came Barrister Ikome Ngongi. The Buea-based lawyer made a rapid review of Cameroon’s history. He would then take the council members through the horror Anglophones are going through.

Ngongi said he has lived the challenges. Stating that, travelling from Buea to Banaberi, he went through eight police controls. The advocate said after Bonaberi, it dawned on him that, he is living in two different countries. The lawyer said he came across people living freely unlike what has been going on in the Anglophone zones for two years.
He then cited the case of Divisional Officer of Buea, Paul Wokam Kouam who was shot on election day despite the security he enjoys. The advocate questioned how the common man would have gone out to vote in such circumstances.

The lawyers argued that, elections cannot be said to have taken place in a free and fair atmosphere when communities in the North West and South West Regions are largely deserted. The man of law submitted to the council that, the population is caught between military brutality and the ‘ambazonia’ fighters.

As Ngongi drifted deep into the Anglophone crisis, the president of the Constitutional Council will then intercept and ask him to finish his submission under two minutes.

Observers have described the submissions of the lawyers in open court as a defining moment in advancing the democratic process in Cameroon.

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