Albatros Affair: “Court Rejects Application For Inoni’s Release”. Of Course in the Wrong Jurisdiction
June 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
Meme Senior State Counsel, Justice Paul Batou Akong, has rejected an application for the release on bail of former Prime Minister, Chief Epraim Inoni.
Barrister John Mengot Eyong tabled the application before the State Counsel in Kumba on April 18.
He described the arrest and detention of the former Prime Minister as illegal, considering Sections 225, 232(1)(2)(3), 234 and 246 (a) – (h) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.
According to the lawyer, Inoni is a senior citizen, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon and a refined and well respected, honoured English-speaking Cameroonian, illegally arrested and locked up incommunicado at the Kondengui Central Prison in Yaounde.
He further argued that the unsubstantiated allegations of corruption and fraud are mere suspicions, and that the arrest is mixed up in the political atmosphere in Cameroon, as Inoni would never have known that the plane leased for President Biya was faulty.
Mengot said his application was based on the legal principle that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty, and therefore is entitled to bail.
He told the State Counsel that the above principle is enshrined in the 1996 Constitution and in all legal instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 ratified by Cameroon.
He argued that Inoni is a senior citizen who needs constant medical attention, and this will not be possible if the suspect is maintained in a notorious prison.
But immediately Batou received the application, he wrote “rejected for want of competence.” He told Mengot to rather tender his application in Yaounde and not Kumba because Inoni was not arrested and detained in Kumba.
He said Kumba has got nothing to do with the arrest and detention of Inoni.
Frustrated, Mengot lashed out at the State Counsel for rejecting the application, and told him to resign if he does not master the law of the country.
He said Batou signs warrants of arrests which are executed anywhere in the country.
“What prevents him now from receiving this application and sending it to Yaounde?” Barrister Mengot questioned.
The lawyer said Inoni, though arrested in Yaounde, is before no court and is alleged to have committed a crime against Cameroon and, therefore, should be tried anywhere he so desires. “Being an Anglophone, he should be tried in the Common Law Court, either in Buea where he resides or Kumba,” he argued.
In spite of the rejection of his application, Mengot insisted that he would go into alliance with other lawyers and file a motion in court for the self bail of the former Prime Minister.