Higher Judicial Council: A tale of multiple cons- Anglophones, Justice Ayah,Gwanmesia-Esso tug-of-war, Tribalism
The Anglophone Crisis is certainly not going to be the only item on the menu when the Higher Judicial Council of French Cameroun meets in Yaounde on June 7, 2017, convened by the 84 year-old Paul Biya. The last time the council met was in December 2014 and the aftermath was the retirement of two celebrated election riggers at the magistracy in Cameroon: Alexis Dipanda Mouelle and Rissouk A Moulong. The first was until then, first president of the Supreme Court while the second was first attorney general to the said court.
Three years later, French Cameroonians and some pro CPDM militants in Southern Cameroons are waiting anxiously for the next Higher Judicial Council meeting. A lot of tongues have been waging ever since the presidency announced the date for the meeting. Many believe that Paul Biya and his hand-picked judges will debate a total of six subjects.
Cameroon Intelligence Report understands the first relates to the withdrawal of francophone magistrates from Southern Cameroons territory as demanded by the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. The second and crucial point will be the case of Lord Justice Paul Ayah Abine, the Southern Cameroon Supreme Court Judge detained for more than 100 days at the Secretariat of State for Defense in Yaounde in connection with the West Cameroon crisis.
A well-placed source at the presidency of the republic hinted CIR that the Biya Francophone regime plans to retire him before proceeding with his trial at the Yaoundé Military Tribunal. However, this is not going to be anything nearer the solution to the problem, since many magistrates both English and French speaking are in solidarity with Lord Justice Ayah.
The third subject will be dedicated to the man heading the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice. His name-George Gwanmesia. It is an open secret that Justice Gwanmesia hates his incompetent boss Laurent Esso and he is also the oldest and longest serving Southern Cameroon magistrate ever. The Yaoundé regime thinks it’s time for him to be sent on retirement.
Some sources have also pointed out that the Higher Judicial Council meeting could also dwell on the marginalization of certain regions within the judiciary which is almost 75% owned and run by the Beti, Ewondo, Bulu and Eton of the Center, South, East including their relatives in the Littoral. A policy that was propounded and implemented by Justice Minister, Laurent Esso and the Technical Advisor to the Head of State on Judicial Affairs, Jean Foumane Akame.
The fifth topic will of course center on the creation and appointment to the Common Law section of the Supreme Court while the last point will be the integration of young magistrates.
By Soter Tarh Agabw-Ebai
Cameroon Intelligence Report