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Depicting the Special Criminal Court established to prosecute alleged corrupt government officials and the several Alibabas responsible for pilfering from the public treasury as the President’s court is no misnomer.  We call it the President’s court because it is one instrument of power through which the President is reining in on perceived opponents from within his CPDM power conduit. An attribute of a genuine court is the fairness of the trial proceedings in cases which are brought before the court for trial. It is not the number of convictions entered against accused.  A court is legitimate and recognized as such because of its exercise of judicial, executive, legislative and administrative independence.  A court that is independent must be accessible to all citizens after all, is equality before the law, not a constitutionally protected value? The Special Criminal Court is lacking in these attributes of impartiality, judicial independence and accessibility.  It is perceived more as the President’s Court than a Court of Justice.

Establishing this court was President Biya’s way of saving himself the embarrassment of being humiliated during his perennial trips abroad as the President of the most corrupt countries in the world.  This ranking of the country as the most corrupt or one of the most corrupt countries had a potential to hamper President Biya’s personal pecuniary interests far from the borders of Cameroon.  There was therefore a personal interest need to establish the court.  Another personal interest need was to avail himself of a legal tool under his direct control to consolidate absolute power, blackmail potential rebels and competitors within the system and to stifle any form of institutional opposition. He perceived the court as a tool with which to whitewash his more than thirty years of corrupt governance and the rape of the economy.

Depicting the Special Criminal Court established to prosecute alleged corrupt government officials and the several Alibabas responsible for pilfering from the public treasury as the President’s court is no misnomer.  We call it the President’s court because it is one instrument of power through which the President is reining in on perceived opponents from within his CPDM power conduit. An attribute of a genuine court is the fairness of the trial proceedings in cases which are brought before the court for trial. It is not the number of convictions entered against accused.  A court is legitimate and recognized as such because of its exercise of judicial, executive, legislative and administrative independence.  A court that is independent must be accessible to all citizens after all, is equality before the law, not a constitutionally protected value? The Special Criminal Court is lacking in these attributes of impartiality, judicial independence and accessibility.  It is perceived more as the President’s Court than a Court of Justice.

Establishing this court was President Biya’s way of saving himself the embarrassment of being humiliated during his perennial trips abroad as the President of the most corrupt countries in the world.  This ranking of the country as the most corrupt or one of the most corrupt countries had a potential to hamper President Biya’s personal pecuniary interests far from the borders of Cameroon.  There was therefore a personal interest need to establish the court.  Another personal interest need was to avail himself of a legal tool under his direct control to consolidate absolute power, blackmail potential rebels and competitors within the system and to stifle any form of institutional opposition. He perceived the court as a tool with which to whitewash his more than thirty years of corrupt governance and the rape of the economy.

President Paul Biya, some have claimed is a man of rigor and moralization.  He is widely believed to have set the course for what is now the fight against corruption in Cameroon. He was heard saying recently that “During this hard times that we live, the large and long work of national construction involves the rigorous management and perseverance vis-à-vis the maneuvering force of demoralization, demobilization or destabilization”.

On the 31st of December, 2005, in his message to the nation, the Head of State, in a firm tone said, “the diversion of public funds to the detriment of the Cameroonian people. I would say today, very solemnly, has to stop.”  In September 2007, in a press release made by the Cabinet, as in many other speeches, the Cameroonian Chief Executive reaffirmed his determination to fight every form of evil which prevents Cameroon from emerging as a great nation.  He observed that “misappropriation of public funds, in whatever form, is a crime against the people deprived of the resources that belong to them. Such individuals must, therefore, be punished with the greatest severity.”

Correspondingly, Law No. 2001/028 of December 14th, 2011 created the Special Criminal Court. It was followed by Decree No. 2013/288 of September the 4th, 2013 that set the part for the return of stolen money from the state coffers. However, on December the 23rd, 2015, in response to recent accusations of corruption made by Transparency International, Issa Bakary Tchiroma Cameroon’s Communications Minister and Government Spokesman revealed that, “to date, there are at the Special Criminal Court, 129 files forwarded to the Specialized Corps of the judicial police; 115 cases entered, 123 indictments; 146 sentences of imprisonment with fines and court costs; 40 non-places visited; 78 acquittals; 41 decisions pending with over three billion CFA francs in refund as corpus delicti including almost 30 billion Swiss francs pronounced for damages suffered by the state.”

Interestingly, before the creation of the Special Criminal Court, the ruling CPDM regime had CONAC, (National Anti-Corruption Commission), whose president was reportedly involved in numerous financial scandals. The Biya regime also had ANIF (National Financial Investigation Agency), whose members lived a princely lifestyle at the expense of the Cameroonian taxpayer.  All in all, the CPDM had CONSUPE (Higher State Control), and the Council of Budgetary and Financial Discipline (CDBF) both habouring fraudsters and looters.

Biya’s 32 years in power have seen castles, spectacular scientific complexes, villas and many 5 star duplexes belonging to highly placed CPDM officials and members of government springing up in Cameroonian cities, without their owners being asked about the origin of their fortune. Who now is fooling who here? We of this publication believe and fervently too, that Minister Issa Tchiroma needs rest.

Soter Tarh Agbaw Ebai

Editor In Chief

Cameroon Concord
cameroonconcordnews
Cameroon Intelligence Report

The Chairman of nmieducation and president of Cameroon publishers union, Mr Nforgwei Rogers, speaks on vision 4's "Lets Talk"  show .

 

The Chairman of nmieducation and president of Cameroon publishers union, Mr Nforgwei Rogers, speaks on vision 4's "Lets Talk"  show on the way forward for Cameroon's emergence by 2035 in relation to the politics of education.

 

Nigerian police say they have arrested members of a militant group which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil pipelines in the Delta region. The 'Niger Delta Avengers' had issued a warning to oil companies.

The group calling itself the "Niger Delta Avengers" (NDA) claimed responsibility for a recent attack on a facility operated by US energy group Chevron and the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell. Via social media the group issued a "Warning to Chevron" on May 12.

Nigerian army spokesman Rabe Abubakar said on Monday: "This is to confirm the arrest of some suspected members of Niger Delta Avengers," in connection with attacks on Chevron oil facilities.

"We made some arrests over the weekend. They were picked up around scenes of recent attacks in the Niger delta," according to a member of the joint task force involved in security in the region. "It will be pre-emptive at this stage to conclude that the suspects are the militants that bombed the oil pipelines and installations until after investigation," the official told the AFP news agency.

The attacks claimed by the group have contributed to a slump in Nigerian oil production, reportedly down to its lowest level in more than two decades, from about 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to under 1.7 million bpd. Crude sales from the Delta region account for 70 percent of national income in what is Africa's biggest economy.

revenues for locals in the oil-rich southern delta.

'Niger Delta Avengers'

The NDA issued an ultimatum to oil companies in the region via its website:

"To owners and operators of these oil blocs in our region the Niger Delta Avengers is giving you two weeks ultimatum to shut down your operations and evacuate your staff. If at the end of the ultimatum and you still operating, we will blow up all the locations. It will be bloody. So just shut down your operations and leave."

In the same statement, the group also made an appeal to the UN: "To the United Nations, we are not asking for much but to free the people of the Niger Delta from environmental pollution, slavery, and oppression."

Long-standing problems

A number of groups in the 2000s carried out attacks on oil pipelines and kidnapped workers until a government amnesty was declared in 2009.

DW

 

For the International Conference “Invest in Cameroon, Land of opportunities” which started today  the17th till  18th May in Yaoundé, the capital of the country, the Ministry of Posts and Telecoms has  yesterday 16 May, opened a digital village within the National Museumin downtown Yaounde.

For three days, this cultural space will be transformed in an exhibition site for the Cameroonian ICT savoir-faire. “The digital village is an android exhibit gathering different speakers and players in the digital economy, with the main objective of presenting the assets of Cameroon in this sector and specifically to promote the expertise of Cameroonian start-ups and support young people in the digital economy”, the Minister of Posts and Telecoms, Minette Libom Li Likeng, explains.

According to the organisers, 100 exhibitors are expected at this national meeting of the digital sector, as well as over 5,000 visitors. In addition to the exhibition, the event is being highlighted by a project fair, digital entertainment, ICT training workshops and B2B meetings.

BIC

Demonstrators in Nairobi calling for electoral reform faced police firing tear gas and were chased down as they fled. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said next year's elections cannot be free or fair without reform. The police chief for Nairobi central, Paul Wanjama, said at least 15 demonstrators were detained during the protests in central Nairobi on Monday. They are to be charged on Tuesday, although Wanjama did not say what accusations they would face.

Officers armed with batons confronted hundreds of protesters outside the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Monday's demonstration was the third clash over the issue in less than a month.

Odinga wrote on Twitter, "Despite the use of undue force by police, our peaceful pickets shall continue every week until the IEBC is reformed."

Addressing a crowd of about 500 protesters, lawmaker James Orengo said: "We have said now and again and we repeat here: [Electoral Board] commissioners must get out of office, they cannot be trusted to conduct a credible election."

Protest and opposition leader Raila Odinga lost the 2013 elections to President Uhuru Kenyatta and is due to face him again in August 2017. Kenyatta is expected to seek re-election next year for a second and final term.Head of the CORD coalition, Odinga unsuccessfully challenged Kenyatta's election win through the courts three years ago and has accused the IEBC of bias. He said its members should quit. A disputed election in 2007 led to the deaths of about 1,200 people in ethnic fighting.

 Odinga was about to address the crowd on Monday when the police intervened, forcing the gathering to disperse. A banner held at the protest on Monday read: "For free and fair election, IEBC must go." As demonstrators ran from the tear gas and the protest scene they were pursued by police who chased them through streets and alleyways. Some protesters had hidden in buildings but witnesses said they were flushed out by riot police who directed the towards waiting colleagues who beat them with wooden clubs and kicked them.

DW

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Headlines On Cameroonian English Tabloids

Modern Villa For Sale in Yaounde Cameroon

Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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