Despite claims by the Minister of Communication that detainees arrested in the wake of the crisis rocking the North West and South West regions have access to health care, Lord Justice Ayah Paul Abine’s family says he has not been authorized to meet his cardiologist. In a declaration that has been circulating on the social media since Tuesday February 21, the family of the Deputy Attorney General of the Supreme Court of Cameroon has lamented that Justice Ayah Paul Abine is sick.
It said Ayah has suffered another malaise in his detention at SED “possibly owing to the shortage in air circulation.” The family said authorities are yet to permit Ayah to meet his cardiologist as recommended by the latter on January 25 that he be brought for a comprehensive medical check-up on his heart condition.
The release said Ayah who was arrested on January 21 is held under deplorable detention conditions. In a media outing to update public opinion on the judicial proceedings against some persons accused following the recent uprising in the South West and North West Regions, the Minister of Communication said out of the 82 people who were arrested, 21 were subsequently released.
Issa Tchiroma Bakary said those being held in cells enjoy the right to defence—the right to be assisted by their counsels, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. “They also enjoy access rights and access to health care,” he said. Yet the statement by the Ayah family seems to be contrary to the government spokesperson’s claims. It said Ayah who was arrested about a month ago is yet to be officially charged for any crime offence.
The statement by the family of the Supreme Court Judge was published on the eve of the solemn opening of the 2017 judicial year by the judicial institution. Members of the judicial family representatives of other corps in the country are expected to attend the solemn opening session of the Supreme Court in Yaounde on Wednesday February 22 to officially open the 2017 judicial year in the country.