Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Four Months to Cameroon Bar Elective Congress without Bonu: Who is Next President? *Barrister Ben Suh Fuh, Bobga Harmony, Kenmende Henry or Njoya Joseph?
*Bar I Results this Week *French\English Notary Saga Quenched What Becomes Of Cameroon Bar Association After Barrister Bonu Are questions that really matter, In what has been termed as the need for the rejuvenation of the Cameroon Bar Association tongues have been wagging on what becomes of the Cameroon Bar Association after senior Barrister Advocate Bonu, The man who as highly tipped to succeed Barrister Sama Francis Asanga as the President of the Cameroon Bar succumbed to the cold hands of death while in the line of duty, marking the 2014 bar exams in Yaounde which are still in the offing. The issue resurfaced during the ordinary general assembly of the bar association that took place in Buea on Saturday 26 June 2014. During the assembly it was disclosed that the delay of the 2014 bar exams have hitherto not been released because of the death of senior barrister Bonu Innocent who played an instrumental role in the organization of the exams and finally died in Yaounde on April 17, 2014. One of the biggest consequences of the death of Barrister Bonu is the fact that he was the representative of the Bar Association on the issue of the creation of the law school in the University of Buea. That is why the Bar president, Barrister Sama Francis noted”the project of the law school is in place and I must admit that late Barrister Bonu was the representative of the Bar in this big process. His demise will cause a stalemate, but we are working tooth and nail with the University of Buea and the Supervisory ministry to see that the school goes operational in the nearest future” Revisiting the Passing Of Barrister Bonu Innocent Born on December 7 ,1956, Barrister Bonu was sworn into the bar in 1989.He died on April 17 2014 after suffering from a malaise while marking the 2014 bar exams in Yaounde. During his 25 years practice, he trained some 29 lawyers in his Mutengene based Liberty Law Firm .Prior to joining the legal profession, Bonu practiced as a journalist. Hundreds of lawyers, other members of the judicial family and sympathizers turned out to pay him their last respect, first at the Buea Court of Appeal on June 9 and the Bamenda court of Appeal on June 10. Barrister Sama Francis Asanga ,the current president of the bar association described the late Bonu as a legal colossus who did much for the growth of the law practice in Cameroon and who equally trained many lawyers. Lucy Asuagbor ,president of the south west Court of Appeal in an emotion packed eulogy said Bonu had gone through a trial that has defiled all the rules of procedure ;one that gave no room for submissions .Bonu’s only charge was that his time was up and he was not given given room to plead for time. She said Bonu’s death was an opportunity for the judicial family to plead for mercy because time had come for the judicial family to orientate the nature of their practice. Barrister Akere Muna for his part said he was deeply aggrieved by the demise of Barrister Bonu , but prayed God to reserve a befitting place for Bonu who died on his legal feet. The representative of the minister of Justice, Joseph Fonkwe Fongang, Attorney General of the south west region. He said Bonu was a tenacious lawyer whose voice still echoes in the court rooms around the country. The mortal remains of Barrister Bonu were finally laid to rest in their family compound in Bambui on Tuesday 10 June at about 4;30 pm after a funeral mass was said by the Bishop of Mamfe ,His Lordship, Andrew Nkea Fuanya. Close to 3000 lawyers witnessed the interment while eulogies poured in from prominent personalities like Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle,Senator Nfor Tabe Tande ,Honourable Enoh Tanjong,Lady Justice Vera Ngassa ,Barrister Eta Besong ,Senator Mbella Moki Charles amongst others. New Bar President to Be Elected In November Who takes the Baton? The new president of the Cameroon Bar Association who will succeed Barrister Sama Francis Asanga will be elected in November 2014.This is one of the resolutions that was arrived at during the ordinary general assembly of the Bar Association that took place in Buea on 26 June 2014.The ordinary general assembly was convened and chaired by Barrister Emmanuel Tang,president of the bureau of the general assembly of the Bar. Issues discussed during the meeting included the presentation of the report of the president of the Cameroon Bar Association ,report from auditors, approval of the operating budget of the Bar ,and the protection of the rights of lawyers in the exercise of their professional duties Who Will Be the Next Bar President With Bonu now gone the big question has been who has already done enough groundwork as late Barrister Bonu had done in anticipation of becoming the next Bar Association president after Barrister Sama Francis Asanga steps down later this year? There is no gainsaying the fact that there are quite a number of fine lawyers who have stood the test of time, and who now stand the best chances of picking the top job in the Bar Association anytime soon. Prominent amongst them are four Bamenda based lawyer who have all the mettle that it takes to take the relay baton from Sama Francis Asanga. First is Barrister Suh Fuh Ben of Amity Law Firm in Bamenda. The works of Barrister Suh Fuh Ben have not only earned him accolades in the Bar Association, he has also earned honour from diverse segments of society including the press. After a sample collective survey, Barrister Ben Suh Fuh on Saturday 28 June grabbed the prestigious Prosperity Icon of the Year Award as the best lawyer from World Echoes newspaper. Beyond this his exploits in his political party where he militates have also earned him a very high standing amongst his peers. Then comes Barrister Bobga Harmony Mbutong. Besides running a prominent law firm in Bamenda ,Barrister Bobga Harmony also runs the Hurcled Centre which seeks to deliver justice to those who are on the fringes of society. Besides improving access to justice for poor local people, Barrister Bobga Harmony has defiled all threats both from public authorities and security men to stand for the fact that Anglophones in Cameroon have a problem and that the SCNC must be supported. He has carried the SCNC case on his head, defending the group in Cameroon, in the African court on human and peoples’ rights in Banjul, Gambia,in the United Nations, and all over the world. For this reasons he is highly rated in the Bar especially for his audacity in the eye of a storm. Again, there is Barrister Kenmende Henry Gamsey , another no nonsense lawyer who has proven that he can stand for his colleagues ,Barrister Kenmende Henry Gamsey shocked the Cameroonian public when he was appointed divisional delegate of ELECAM for Ngoketunjia. Though he was hoodwink to take up the job, Barrister Kenmende soon tendered his resignation on grounds that as the representative of the Bar Association in the north west his functions were incompatible with the post of ELECAM Divisional head. Rather than choosing to stay in ELECAM where some of his peers had chosen, he decided to work for his colleagues by staying as Bar representative. This also earned him many points from his colleagues to the point where he is now tipped as a possible successor of Barrister Sama Francis Asanga. Last but not the least is Maitre Njoya Joseph Fonyuy. Though a sheriff Bailiff, eyes are still looking up to him as one of the finest, and most probably the youngest person who could put up his hand and grab the top job. His self discipline, youthful exuberance, honesty amongst others have placed him in a favorite position, especially as the choice of the youth. Other than the above mention collective opinion holders believe that if the Bar is entrusted in the hands of the international Legal Consultant Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle new dimensions will be injected and sorted in the management of the Bar rigorously following the will of the general aspirations of Lawyers at the same time reforming the corps with his religious skills and Knowledge without favor or discrimination. Ntumfor Nico Halle remains a legal icon that Cameroonian knows, a household name who happens to be the major brain behind the reconciliations of Lawyers before Last Cameroon’s Bar Elective Congress that brought in Sama Francis as President after several years of Stagnation. He brought Etta Besong and the rest together for the 2014 Bar to be launched, he has always been there and is always available to offer the much needed advice to enable the Lawyer umbrella Association to forge ahead. Many believe and are of the opinion that if he is handed that baton of command over the institution, more than ever before, the Union will vibrate radiations which are common to the aspiration of every Legal practitioner in Cameroon. Bar I Exams Results to Be Released Soon During the ordinary general assembly of the Bar on 26 June 2014,the president of the Bar Association disclosed that the results of the Bar exams part 1 would be out very soon .He said the delay in the release of the results was due to the death of Barrister Bonu Innocent who played a very important role in the organization of the exams. He said “ in the days ahead ,by law ,the results of the Bar Part 1 will be published by an order of the Minister of State, Minister of Justice” He used the occasion to thank the minister of justice and the Bar Association for organizing the exams in 2014.According to Barrister Sama Francis Asanga ,the results of the previous Bar part II had long been published and the lawyers are already being sworn in ,beginning with the North on 26 June in honour of late Barrister Aboubakar. Those of the south west will also be sworn in memory of late Barrister Bonu.Sama dispelled rumours that the Bar exams were marred by financial scandals ,stating that there was total transparency. Reacting to rumours that he and Barrister Bonu opened an account into which the candidates paid in the bribe money ,Sama said ”if anybody gave a bribe to the late Barrister Bonu or to me, that person should come out publicly and say it”.Sama promised to take legal action against rumour mongers who are trying to assassinate his character. Bar Assembly Rejects Appointment of Notaries to the Common Law Jurisdiction Lawyers in the North West and south west region as have vehemently denied that notaries must not be appointed in the common law jurisdiction which involves the North West and south west regions of Cameroon. This was arrived at during the ordinary general assembly of the Bar on June 26 in Buea. The lawyers resolved that the profession as exercised by the advocates of these two regions is an ancestral heritage and there is no way any government will attempt to change it as at now. Such change is not necessary. On what will be done if the government decides to act otherwise, the lawyers told pressmen that it will mean that the government is working against our people and the consequences will follow. Some Anglophone lawyers who had applied to be appointed notaries were also advised to withdraw and it is not an issue anymore. The lawyers expressed satisfaction at the resolutions arrived at during the Bar general assembly saying that they shall continue to practice as advocates and notaries in this part of the country, urging government to respect the views of the lawyers on this matter.