Justice Ayah Paul Abine is a Deputy Attorney General at the Supreme Court of Cameroon. He is the President of the People’s Action Party (PAP) and a very vocal personality. In 2002, he was a Member of Parliament under the banner of the incumbent ruling party (CPDM) crime syndicate from Manyu constituency in the South West Region. He later resigned from CPDM in 2011, created PAP and was a presidential candidate for 2011 elections. Within the CPDM, he was well noted to rule against the party’s hierarchical guidelines especially following his rule against 2008 Constitutional amendment that allowed for indefinite term limit in presidential elections.
Coupled with his active voice on social media as well as media communication in general, where he uses these platforms to voice out his perspectives on politics among other issues that patterns to humanity in Cameroon, makes him a very controversial personality especially regarding issues connected to the Anglophone crisis.
On January 19th 2017, Justice Ayah was summoned to appear before a colonel for interrogation at the Secretariat of Defense (SED). Being a Justice that Ayah is and who knows his rights, said such convocation was supposed to have passed through his departmental head reminding them of Section two of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, Ayah agreed to make it at the SED on January 20th, 11 am. However, the appointment failed. On January 21st, 2017 he reiterated his experience in 2007-2008 conspiracy that opposed the Constitutional Amendment on the Presidential term limit. It was like Justice Ayah was trying to communicate something he had foreseen.
Later same Saturday, January 21st 2017, sources confirmed Justice Ayah Paul had been forcefully arrested at his residence by six armed government security officers to SED where he is presently detained. BaretaNews was reliably informed that the security agents almost got violent when Hon. Ayah tried to state to them what the Law inscribed. His arrest was very abrupt and unprecedented like the case of Barrister Nkongho Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Niba, Mancho Bibixy, amongst others.
AKOSON Raymond, AYAH’s Private Secretary currently at large in a Facebook post today narrated Ayah’s ordeal since his arrest
“..I was able to make calls to some gendarme officers who currently guard Justice AYAH Paul. There is tension among security agents inside SED where Ayah Paul is currently being held; two opposing camps have been naturally constituted. There is a camp taking strict orders from the regime with instructions to do away with Ayah at all cost. There is a second camp made up of both anglophones and some francophone secret service agents who are very disappointed at the manner in which a sitting Supreme Court judge was brutally arrested. A security agent confided in me yesterday that AYAH PAUL is currently in an air tight 2 m * 1.5 m unventilated closed room with no window and constant intentional power failure. He added that Ayah almost passed out on Saturday night owing to heat exhaustion as some of their colleagues were instructed to cut off power supply in his cell to add to his torture.
Asked if Ayah had been inflicted bodily harm, the security made no comment to that effect but said he had a swollen face by Tuesday evening. He concluded that if Ayah’s conditions were not improved upon, he fears he may give up. He equally adds that Ayah was forced to sign documents he couldn’t read due to poor eyesight. He was refused to use his glasses before reading. I contacted Ayah’s lawyer on phone who said no charges had been leveled against his client and that upon insistence to know why he is being kept, they told him to his face that he too could get arrested…”
However, BaretaNews sources narrated that Justice Ayah is being charged to be a member of the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC), which has been banned by the government alongside the Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. His arrest and detention like the others is illegal and against the right to self-determination which the African Union emphasized in their latest press statement regarding the Anglophone crisis.
BaretaNews seriously condemns the torture of any Southern Cameroonians arrested and encouraged everyone to be resolute, to be strong and determined for the best. Now is the time to show our leaders that we are with them and they are with us. God being our strength, we will emerge victoriously.
Akame Gerald with contributions from Mark Bareta.