By Mua Patrick, October 20, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Three signatories to the joint communiqué which called for the ongoing strike action by Common Law lawyers in the South West and North West Regions have been summoned to appear before the Attorney General of the South West Region today Thursday.
Though details as to why the lawyers have been summoned are yet to be made known, speculations are that the motive is not unconnected with the second strike action which enters day four today.
It is also speculated that the trio would answer intimidating questions from the authorities in Buea with regards to their communiqué urging colleagues to paralyse court procedures for the second time in two weeks.
Amongst those summoned are; Barristers Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, President of the Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, Awutah Philip Atubah, representative of the Meme Lawyers Association, MELA, and Ngangjoh Sopseh Emilien, President of the Manyu Lawyers Association, MALA.
While Barristers Awutah Philip and Sopseh Emilien received summonses on Monday from the legal departments in Kumba and Mamfe respectively to appear before the Attorney General in Buea, Barrister Agbor Balla for his part, The Cameroon Journal gathered, was only telephoned Tuesday to appear for questioning.
The summons addressed to Kumba-based Barrister Awutah Philip dated Monday October 17, a copy of which The Cameroon Journal procured, had first indicated that he was expected to appear before the Attorney General on Tuesday. But we later learnt that because of some other considerations, the lawyers were informed to make themselves available only in Buea today Thursday.
As we went to press, we were yet to confirm reports that Barrister Bobga Harmony, one of the signatories to the joint communiqué who represented the North West Lawyers Association, NOWELA was also to appear before the Attorney General in the Region for interrogation.
Those already summoned, we have gathered, will be interrogated on issues relating to the ongoing strike action which has continued to paralyze court activities in the North West and South West Regions.
Common Law lawyers, it should be recalled, first embarked on a four-day strike action Tuesday October 11, in the two Anglophone Regions of the country. During the first strike action, court procedures in major towns of the two Regions came to a standstill.
Their action, as contained in a communiqué, was in protest against attempts by government to erode the Common Law system in Cameroon.
The lawyers had said the protest was a follow up of the May 2015 Bamenda Declaration as well as that of the All Anglophone Lawyers Conference which took place in Buea in February 2016. Government, they said, has continuously ignored their plight.
In the statement addressed to the Head of State issued before the strike action, the advocates recounted: “…it is over two years since we served Your Excellency’s Government our Resolutions of the Bamenda Inaugural Conference of the Cameroon Common Law Lawyers (Anglophone Lawyers), but till date; we have received not even an acknowledgment…”
Angered by government’s provocative silence and what they later described as the “Yaounde authorities’ divide and role tactics”, the representatives of the four constituent associations meeting last Saturday again announced a week-long strike which effectively began last Monday October 17 and is expected to end Friday October 22.