Cameroon’s Special Criminal Court said in a report Tuesday it has recovered 9 billion CFA francs (about 14.86 millions U.S. dollars) in eight years following concerted efforts to fight the corruption.
The report, made public to the media in the capital Yaounde by officials of the court, said the money was recovered between 2012 and July 2020 through investigations and operations carried out by the court.
The report said, the court has rendered 216 judgements since its inception, indicating how serious it was and prompting many Cameroonians to practise good governance principles and ultimately reducing corruption tendencies.
Public property which belongs to the nation must be protected for the interest of all, the report stated.
The Special Criminal Court was created to judge corruption cases in 2011 but it only went operational in 2012. It has since judged bribery and corruption cases of top government and military officials.
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. Cameroon Concord News Group calls it President Biya’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 Biya’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.
With the war against Boko Haram, the fight against corruption using the Special Criminal Court has afforded Paul Biya justification contest in the next institutionally flawed elections in order to eternalize power purportedly to direct the war against terror and the war against corruption. True to the name the President’s Court, the President has exclusive preserve in referring cases to the Special Court and the power to terminate them. He decides who will be arrested, who will be investigated and who will serve time and who will not.
Reported by Xinhuanet and Cameroon Concord News