By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, February 03, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Ayah Paul Abine, Advocate General of the Supreme Court and Chairman of the opposition Popular Action Party, PAP, has vowed not to offer any statement to his interrogators in his detention cell insisting that his arrest didn’t follow due judicial process, one of his defense counsels, Barrister Ndong Christopher has said.
“Ayah has no statement to offer to judicial officers who are his subordinates. He will only speak when he is charged in court or a panel of judges is constituted to hear him according to the regulations in force,” Barrister Ndong told The Cameroon Journal yesterday.
According to the lawyer, Ayah was not arrested, but abducted. He is arguing that the procedure to hear a sitting judge as outlined in the country’s Criminal Procedure Code was not followed.
We learned when a team of investigating officers visited Ayah for questioning two days after he was arrested, he said he was not going to utter any statement.
The team was comprised of a representative of the judicial police, a representative from the Ministry of Justice, a representative of the military prosecutor, and a personnel of the Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie, SED.
Ayah is quoted as saying he could not be talking to junior judicial officers he is supposed to be schooling. He said what mattered to him at that moment was his health.
Barrister Ndong said Ayah will only talk when the Attorney General of the Supreme Court constitutes a panel of three judges equal or superior to their client’s rank. Should that not happen, the defense counsel added, then Ayah will talk only in court.
“We don’t yet know the person who ordered for our client’s arrest, nor the charges against him. He is steadfast to remain mute…If they continue in illegality, they will take him to the military prosecutor where he won’t still talk. He will only do the talking when the matter is pushed to court,” the barrister-at-law explained.
Military Tribunal officials nor Gendarmerie Headquarters officials, who effected the arrest, were not readily available for comments.
Ayah’s charges have not yet been made known, but like the other arrested Anglophone dissenters, he will apparently be charged for inciting the public to revolt, insurrection, propagation of false information, advocating secession, amongst others.
It should be recalled Ayah was whisked off by armed security men and taken to detention after he first resisted being taken away by Gendarmerie elements from Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie, SED. His arrest came in the wake of a crackdown by the government on Anglophone personalities in the North West and South West Regions.
Many Anglophone and Francophone lawyers have grouped themselves to freely defend Anglophone elite who will be charged to court in relation to the ongoing crisis.