International Arrest Warrants: Justice Ayah Schools Camerounese Officials







November 8, 2017


To secure the issuing of international arrest warrants as Cameroun has done is the easiest of things. To get the warrants executed and the suspects extradited much less. The following is a random cursory look at some of the hurdles to surmount.

Cameroun must prove the existence of extradition treaties with the host countries of those to be extradited. In the absence of such instrument, the matter could well just rest there. Even where such instruments do exist, their enforcement is subject to several inevitable considerations:

(1) Are those to be extradited of Camerounese nationality? It would be recalled that by the Camerounese nationality code, you automatically lose Camerounese nationality upon acquiring foreign nationality. And the moment you have a foreign passport, you are no longer Camerounese. Not too many countries would readily extradite their nationals or the nationals of third parties to Cameroun.
(2) The host countries would also examine the institutional judicial organistion. In all civilized judicial systems, military courts commonly called court martial do not try civilians. The situation in Cameroun being as it is, the host countries cannot assure themselves that those to be extradited would get fair and impartial trials within international norms.
(3) The crimes alleged committed must be criminal offences within the laws of the host countries. Applications for extradition are otherwise rejected.
(4) Some host countries sometimes do affirm that it is competent of their legal systems to hear and determine the “accusations” leveled against those resident within their borders.

Other considerations include the status of the persons concerned in international law. Where all the foregoing considerations are satisfied, the host countries would still invoke the status of the suspects. In international law, no refugee; no-one granted political asylum; no-one fleeing political persecution can be extradited.

Again, morality comes into play. Countries there are that have abolished the death sentence. No such country would extradite someone to Cameroun to be sentenced to death by a judicial system that has failed to prove its mettle before the international community. Let alone through fictitious judicial process by court martial.

If all is smooth and the host country grants the application to extradite, the interested party still reserves the right to fight the decision to extradite in the courts of the host country; and that includes the right to avail oneself of the right to appeal. In the result, this can take years –a decade or even more.

The chances of Cameroun succeeding have dwindled considerably by its rogue conduct. It is a notorious fact that the world body (UNO), the Commonwealth, the Francophonie and others have all called for dialogue over and over again. Cameroun has ignored them consistently with cowboy grin. And the very Cameroun now turns to the member states of those very organizations to seek favours! The latter will simply invoke the principle of reciprocity in international diplomatic relations to turn down Camerounese requests.

One may daresay then that the Lord Chancellor Asshia Tshiroma did not counsel himself well. And that the legal advisers at the Presidency may have done their homework quite slightly lightly. The net result is that the hosanna about the issue of international arrest warrants may hopelessly end up like a high-sounding NOTHING.

Had we only been wise enough to heed the repeated calls for DIALOGUE!

Otto Ama


  1. George

    November 9, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Thanks Pa Ayah for the wonderful and comprehensive write up. How often shall we repeat the word “dialogue”? The SG of the UN told Biya on various occasions to dialogue. The Commonwealth. The Francophonie. Even our interim government lead by Sisikou Ayuktabe called for dialogue. LRC WAKE UP BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

  2. ndolloz

    November 9, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    no dialogue with lrc is better than any dishonest one,why dialogue with murderers? people who want dialogue must understand that,old biya is handicap in the English Language, he is ashamed to admit to the people and the world that, he is unable to understand the complexity of the Anglophone problem as he is used to pleasing fake translators in his 56 years,SSs GC leadership must take control of all it’s people’s affairs away from lrc which must be Independence! there is a massive gap within the two cultures,lrc is arrogant,colonial mentality,disrespectful,less care and compassion for it’s citizens,corrupt, short sighted,primitive superiority,biyas regime regime is stagnant, backward for the 21st century and the high aspirations of the people of SCs.

    • George

      November 9, 2017 at 11:16 AM

      The agenda of the dialogue is important. We shall discuss with LRC about the modalities of separation from them.

  3. Jonathan Ngwa

    November 9, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    But I think the Honurable Justice has omitted a very salient point – the status of The Southern Cameroons vis vis that of The Republic of Cameroun. Without a clear definition of this status how would such a warrant have any merit?. Can we say it suffices for any country with its military occupying another country to just issue a warrant of arrest to some citizens and calls them terrorists just because it can? The Republic of Cameroun must be able to explain why it thinks it has authority over the Southern Cameroons to impose its brand of rule of law and order to the point of issuing such warrants to Southern Cameroon citizens escaping from its rule. This point is relevant in the sense that there has been calls for dialogue by international organization between The Republic of Cameroun and The Southern Cameroons indicating that these are two separate entities. That separateness can be definitely defined by law and until that is done the warrant will have no effect because if the definition proves that The Republic of Cameroun has no business occupying The Southern Cameroons the request for arresting the individuals will be inadmissible and even describing them as terrorists too will not inaccurate.

  4. Bali Nyonga

    November 9, 2017 at 3:33 PM

    Without reading Justice Ayah’s pieace, the warrant of arrest thing to be was just blowing of hot air. They are playing with the minds of lrc citizens.

  5. Malis

    November 9, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    To hell with this nonsense of international arrest warrants. They should first issue one for themselves first.

    We will fight LRC to the end, to the last man. Nothing these fools and evil government of LRC dose is going to scare us.

    I’m happy they are coming out like this, they will finally be confronted with reality. These mad creatures have been thinking the world belong to them, now they will know that there are always two sides to the equal sign and that reality is govern by international law.

    We are not scare, bring it on.

  6. Mukong

    November 9, 2017 at 5:59 PM

    So these bunch of low life do really understand that they belong to a community of nations? Unfortunately, international diplomacy is not for them to pick and choose base on how things will conform to their narratives. Now we can see what happens when a people cannot develop an educational system that will trained competent individuals as oppose to these bunch of illiterates who are masquerading as lawyers of international law. At least the world is slowly going to understand the incompetence of these Beti criminals as a result of their own stupidity.

  7. Pompidou Mensah

    November 10, 2017 at 1:22 AM

    Those dogs in lrc are delusionary. They saw Catalonia, with warrants issued by Spain and thought they could just do the same. What a joke. Keep the pressure up on all fronts. This dog is and sleepless and super worried about his survival, will die soon, last kick of a dying horse. I just printed our recognition of independence by the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, handed it Canadian Prime Minister, to Ghanaians, Nigerians, South Africans and Canadians. I urge all Ambazonians to do the same. These will take the sails out of lrc every hour.

  8. Klusarkens

    November 10, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Well the regime has a right to issue such arrests warrants but even if they are implemented the alleged suspects would have the right to defend themselves. Arrests is not judgement!A suspect can be arrested,detained and released without charge.
    But given the present situation in the english speaking parts of Cameroon,I think for the regime to claim that they have issued an international arrest warrant for Anglophone leaders championing the freedom of the oopressed people sounds very ridiculous.Rather I think it would sound reasonable if the Anglophones cause the ICJ, ICC to issue international arrest warrants to prosecute the authorities of Mr.Biyas government and Mr.Biya himself for genocide and crimes against humanity in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

  9. Klusarkens

    November 11, 2017 at 10:19 PM

    Who should arrest who in this situation,Mr.Biya`s authorities or the Ambazonian governing council?
    This is a very interesting development.Who is guilty of crimes against humanity,genocide and war crimes?
    Mr.Biya and his regime overtly committed genocide,crimes against humanity in the English speaking parts of Cameroon slaughtering and maiming peaceful human beings and yet they are the first to talk of international arrests warrants.
    I must rather congratulate Prof.Carlson Anyangwe and co for filing a case at the International Criminal Court at the Hague to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by Mr.Paul Biya and his authorities in the both the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon since november,2016.Mr.Paul Biya and his authorities must be tried for these crimes
    Mr.Paul Biya and all his ministers involved in the genocide in Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon must face trial for these crimes.They should see what is happening with the former Chadian president Hussein Habre.
    Now that Mr.Biya and his ministers are in power they think this is the end of life.
    Things will never be the same again.There are several international legal actions in place to get Mr.Paul Biya and some of his ministers face international trial and this would ensure that they could be arrested in any western country at the appropriate time to be put on trial for these crimes.
    The world has changed.Genocide and crimes against humanity can no longer be tolerated.

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