Lawyers Initiate Legal Process to Free Ayah Paul

Supreme Court Advocate, Ayah Paul Abine.
Detained Supreme Court Advocate, Ayah Paul Abine.

By Folegwe II Menky, March 09, 2017

Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Lawyers defending Ayah Paul Abine, one of the Advocates General of the Supreme Court of Cameroon, have filed a Habeas Corpus, requesting the President of Mfoundi High Court in Yaounde to free the detained Judge.

According to Barristers Ndong Christopher Nveh and Luke Mirac Chengayam, respectively representing CNN & Partners Law Firm and Kisob Law Office, Ayah’s arrest and detention are mired in a lot of irregularities. Ayah was whisked off from his Tam Tam Weekend residence in Yaounde in the evening of Saturday January 21, and detained at the Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie (SED).

In a March 6 letter to the President of the Mfoundi High Court, Ayah’s defense counsels say their client was taken away from his residence in the presence of his family and transferred with military aid to SED. “He [Ayah] discovered that no judicial proceeding had been initiated against him by the state of Cameroon for wrongdoings which he has ignored,” the lawyers noted, adding that till date, Ayah does not know the charges leveled against him.

Going by Barrister Ndong, the Military Prosecutor (‘Commissaire du Gouvernement’), who reported to have ordered the arrest, violated Ayah’s rights as a magistrate as well as legal procedures.

The attorney sited Section 629, Sub 1 & 2, of the Criminal Procedure Code which reads: “(1) Where a judicial or legal officer is likely to be charged with committing an offence, the competent Procureur General [State Counsel] shall request the President of the Supreme Court to appoint an investigating magistrate as well as three other magistrates of a grade at least equal to that of the magistrate incriminated and they shall, if necessary, hear and determine the matter at first instance. (2) The President of the Supreme Court shall, in addition, indicate the town wherein the case shall be heard.”

Stating that the legal procedures leading to Ayah’s arrest and detention were “grossly violated,” his lawyers are

relying on Section 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code to cause the President of the Mfoundi High Court to immediately release Ayah, who is also chairman of the opposition Popular Action Party. Section 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that the sanction against the infringement of any rule of criminal procedure shall be an absolute nullity.

By press time, the President of the Mfoundi High Court had yet to respond to the request of the lawyers.

Ayah is still beeing held in detention at SED, with family sources indicating that his health is deteriorating. In a recent statement, Ayah said “till date no one has told me what justifies my presence here [at SED].”




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