Friday, October 19, 2012

Elections Cameroon in Double Illegalities

Hon. Ayah Paul
By Hon. Ayah Paul Dr fonkam Samuel Azu’u, the board chair of ELECAM, has told the world through CRTV radio programme – “Cameroun Calling” – that they of ELECAM “are under the law” and that they “apply the law as it is and not as it ought to be”. Earlier on, the Director General of Elections had told the universe that ELECAM was not under the law due to “force majeur”, (vis major). Also had a certain Minang arrogantly and unabashedly announced to the galaxy that the fact that the law provides that registration of voters lasts from January 1 to December 31 “does not mean that registration cannot be done outside that period”. In other words, the legal provision in his learned thinking is discretionary.
We can forgive the Director General of Elections and Mr. Minang for grappling with legal issues that tantalize them. It is presumed that they are lay men in the legal realm. Evidently, the Director General of Election is uninformed that vis major consists in an act extraneous to the conduct (i.e. outside the doing of) of the person invoking vis major. To put it otherwise, laziness, ignorance or omission fall out of the realm of vis major. Vis major leans on an unforeseeable event: an unpredictable occurrence, beyond human control, an act of God for example.
Dr fonkam by contrast, holds a termal degree in law. He surely is possessed of the fact that the law as it is provides that registration of voters in Cameroun takes place from January 1 to August 31 every year. Any registration between September 1 and December 31, as LECAM is currently doing, is not the law as it is. It is blatant illegality! That is one illegality!
Again, by the law as it is, registration runs continuously from January 1 to August 31; subject only to the calling of the electorate to the poll. The calling of the electorate to the poll is the sole prerogative of the President of the Republic. Putting an end to registration on February 28, 2013, as the Director General of Elections has decreed amounts to usurpation. So it is because the Director General of Elections has not the capacity to amend the law as it is, much less to legislate. Mr. Director’s action smacks of reprehensible conduct that is aggravated by his arrogant attitude of might is right.
Dr Fonkam on the other hand, for his position, and especially his level, never can be imagined to be ignorant about the law in the ordinary course of things. One is therefore in the right to hold that Dr Fonkam’s pronouncement is deceptive and malicious. Some bold jurist could even call it fantastic.
Everyone consistently gets away with illegality in Cameroun today from our having been indoctrinated by the ruling class that the truth and the good example come from the top. I do strongly feel vindicated in my holding steadfast that a taste of the forbidden is a second transgression. It would be remembered that Fon Gorji Dinka asserted in the 1990s that the President of the Republic was “going from illegalities to illegalities”, and cautioned that it was urgent to stop him. Even as he was promptly thrown in jail, time has proved him right. The President today is clearly above the constitution to the point where the constitution has lost its binding authority. To illustrate that assertion with a single example, Cameroun is sixteen years today without the Senate, the Constitutional Council, Regional Councils…And even as we claim that we are fighting against corruption, the application of Article 66 of the constitution remains illusory. The constitution apparently is treated as confering only discretionary powers in Cameroun today.
Also are cases legion where judgments of the Full Bench of the Supreme Court are lying in waste in ministers’ drawers, one should add. The provocation and oppression from those overbearing illegal powers are fast building up to a situation of total anarchy with the complacency and/or complicity of lawyers – the very bulwark against lawlessness elsewhere.
We should submit just again that there is no relative or minor illegality. We do know, for instance, that the massacres and confusion on our roads these days can be traced to a presidential malpractice that many may have dismissed as de minimis. We have seen on television time without number how the presidential convoy on a completely deserted road got to a roundabout and took left. This good example from the top has been copied by every driver to a point where road signs no longer have any meaning for anyone. You may wish to count the dead on our roads!
As the top is deified, it cannot be seen to have infringed the law. The solution now is to embark on the building of 20 million speed breaks for the physical restraint of drivers. Camerounese are in the circumstance portrayed as wild animals that need chains to be contained. What is more, quite apart from the discomfort occasioned by those speed breaks and the faster depreciation of our second-hand vehicles, (the only ones within the reach of ordinary Camerounese), the speed breaks compel vehicles to slow down with the result that they almost invariably fall into ambush laid by highway men. Wounding, maiming and killing of Camerounese are not any less here. A predicament that would have been averted had there been just little observance of the law.
One may confidently conclude that even the many slow learners we have in Cameroun these days would learn the lesson that the slightest infringement of the law can lead to disaster. Therefore have we not totally lost hope that ELECAM will some day come to learn that it is theft, be it a penny or a pound, a bicycle or a trailer!

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