PRESS STATEMENT OF THE BAR SECRETARY
Having taken cognizance of the press release of a group of lawyers styled “the team of Lawyers for the defence of Barrister Felix NKONGHO AGBOR BALLA, Dr NEBA FONTEM, Barrister ABADEM Walters, MANCHO BIBIXY and other persons standing trial at the Yaoundé military court,” signed by Batonnier emeritus Bernard MUNA on the 13th day of April 2017 for national and international consumption,
And considering the fact that certain paragraphs in the above mentioned press release question and criticize Batonnier Jackson Francis KAMGA NGNIE’s communiqué of the 9th of April 2017 informing the public that the conclave of North-West and South-West lawyers had called for the resumption of work of the lawyers in these two Regions of the country, on the 2nd of May 2017
THE BAR COUNCIL SECRETARY WISHES TO SET THE RECORDS STRAIGHT ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS:
1- Any activity of the Batonnier and/or the Bar Council is and should be aimed at protecting the interests of the Bar Association, as well as defending the rights of any Lawyer who might be in difficulty.
2- The appearance of the Bar President to defend and protect the interests of his colleagues in the Yaoundé military tribunal should not be mixed up with the strategy which a team of defence lawyers have put in place in favor of people who are not members of the Cameron Bar association, to wit; Mr MANCHO BIBIXY, Dr FONTEM NEBA, and other detainees.
3- The President of the Cameroon Bar Association who is also the head of the Cameroon Bar Council is the embodiment of this Institution. His activities and those of the Bar Council are well catalogued in the organic laws and the internal rules and regulations of the Bar. He has the mandate to run the Bar. He holds the baton of command!
4- Barristers Felix AGBOR NKONGHO and ABADEM Walters are both advocates of the Cameroon Bar Association, currently standing trial in the Yaoundé military tribunal. It is the prerogative of the Batonnier to defend these colleagues, members of the Cameroon Bar, in and out of court. He is the lead counsel by right in the defence of these colleagues, and this legal prerogatives had been reminded by Batonnier emeritus Bernard MUNA himself, at the Yaoundé military tribunal.
5- The leadership of the incumbent Batonnier in the criminal defence of his colleagues, apart from being by right, has always been the custom of the Cameroon Bar Association, as was in the case of the State against Batonnier Emeritus Black YONDO with Batonnier emeritus Bernard MUNA as lead counsel, or even during the trial of Barristers Luke SENDZE and Francis SAMA (both Batonniers emeritus) and others where the lead counsel was Batonnier Patrice MONTHE.
6- During the meetings between the Bar Council and lawyers of the both Anglophone Regions, the Batonnier clearly defined and explained the steps taken in view of rapidly securing the release of his two arrested colleagues.
7- Their release is far from being incompatible with the awareness of the desire and clamor of the majority of more than eight hundred lawyers practicing in the South West and North West Regions to resume work in order to give a chance to the Government to implement its announced measures.
8- In creating a conclave of 20 lawyers from the South West and North West regions by Decision N° 038/BOABC/ADM/03/2017 of the 30 March 2017, the Batonnier had as priority, the interests of his two arrested colleagues.
9- Nobody can contest the legitimate and discretionary powers that the Batonnier is conferred with to create such a conclave and invest it with a consultative or decision making character.
10- From the foregoing, any press release that comes from any quarters in a bid to disregard and undermine the powers of the Bar Council and the Bar President runs counter to the organic laws and the internal rules and regulations of the Cameroon Bar Association, and should be treated as a non-event.
11- The Bar Secretary, on behalf of the Bar President, seizes this opportunity to reassure his colleagues of the Batonnier’s indefatigable commitment towards the normalization of the activities of the colleagues in the South West and North West Regions as well as the release of his two arrested colleagues by all means within the framework of the law.
12- In view of examining the present situation, the Bar President has summoned an extraordinary meeting of the Consultative Committee of Senior Advocates at the Bar created by his Decision N° 020/BOA/04/15 of 27th April 2015, for Friday the 21st of April 2017
Done in Yaoundé this 19th of April 2017
The Bar Secretary
Philippe MEMONG Esq.