Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ntumfor Barr. Nico Halle Elected to Head Bar Council General Assembly

By Fai Cassian Ndi
Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle
The venerated international legal consultant, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle has been elected as the new President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Council Association. Reports say he was elected at the elective general assembly in Yaounde which kick-started last January 31, 2015. Accordingly, Ntumfor candidature was greeted by all and sundry. It is hoped that with his being there, the issue of the creation of a law school and construction of the secretariat will become realities given his knack in development issues and lobbying skills. 
The Man Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle
If there is one Cameroonian who does ordinary things in an extraordinary manner, it is Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, international legal consultant, human rights defender and nationally-acclaimed peace crusader. Only few years ago Cameroonians were taken aback when news went round that he succeeded in uniting rival journalists factions in Bamenda by using the Bible. Many who thought he was calling the journalists to start quoting journalism principles or law were surprised when in his characteristic manner, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle quoted a few Bible verses, offered a brief prayer and distributed copies of the revised version of the New Testament Bible and the deal was done. 

Whither the Bar Council
When Eta Bisong Jr. took over the Bar Council some years ago, Cameroonians and especially Anglophones thought that the reputation of the Bar as a strong, united, and independent association would soon be restored. What immediately came to mind was the hey days of Barrister Bernard Muna and Barrister Akere. As Eta Bisong Jr. worked day and night to build a strong and united Bar Council, he easily forgot that government was less interested in such a strong force, especially with an Anglophone at the helm. The fragilization process bar started with various interpretations of the same law. The Bar council President was made to be always at logger heads with the President of the General Assembly. The President of the General Assembly who in previous administrations had always been a figure-head emerged as a force to reckon with during Eta Bisong Jr’s tenure. As usual decisions from Eta Jr’s office were systematically disrespected by a faction of the bar. In response, the Bar council President decided to rule by the law. His team vowed never to allow the General Assembly President mis(read) the law. He made it difficult for elections to take place after his mandate ended in 2010.
The bone of contention became the list of admission of some 60 new members into the Bar council. While the President of the General Assembly held that by law, he had the right to scan the list and disqualify some candidates, Eta Bisong Jr. President of the Bar council held that he had no right to do that given that by law, only the General Assembly had such powers. He raised as another objection the fact that in convening a recent General Assembly meeting the President inserted more than one item on the agenda when the law allows only for elections.
As the misunderstanding persisted, lawyers across the country decided to ground tools and boycott all court sessions thereby causing enormous loses to the government treasury, the plaintiffs and other categories of litigants. Even the government’s Minister for Justice, Laurent Esso found difficulties resolving the conflict.
Ntumfor and the Bible
Faithful to the saviour’s command that if  you cannot preach like Paul, you can at least bring the little children to the saviour’s waiting hands, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle took upon himself the responsibility to bring the love of Jesus to the rival factions. As he brought the two men together, he told them he was not interested on who was right and who was wrong. To Ntumfor, the real issue was the interest of the Bar, not the interest of individuals. He went further to remind them that though they were men of law the overriding law was the law of the Bible as presented by Jesus Christ and this law was love and forgiveness. In using the Bible as the final authority in all matters, Ntumfor Nico Halle successfully brought both Eta Bisong Jr. and Barrister Meli Hypolite to reason. The Douala-Ntumfor-initiated reconciliation was total and both parties who could not see eyeball-to-eyeball only a few weeks ago, resolved in a joint communiqué to hold an elective assembly come August 11 and 12, 2012.
Ntumfor, Unassuming
Although reconciling the two Barristers was a huge task and a feat, Ntumfor immediately refused to take any credit for the event. He repeatedly said the honour and glory was God’s as he was only an instrument in God’s hands. He wondered whether on his own he could have succeeded and thanked the Holy Spirit for using him to bring back sanity into the Bar.
Ntumfor the Peace Crusader
This new development comes to add to the long line of achievements recorded by Ntumfor Nico Halle in the domain of conflict transformation. In the North West in particular, noted for its conflictual nature, Ntumfor successfully reconciled traditional rulers, journalists, tribes, elites and even local council authorities. As peace crusader, he preached peace in and out of season in the North West and in Cameroon. He repeated told Fons and elites in the North West that peace and reconciliation was the weapon of the strong while force was the weapon of the weak. He preached love among brethren and this reduced the number of inter-tribal conflicts in the region to the barest minimum.
Ntumfor the Developer
He championed the fundraising for the construction of NOWEFU secretariat in Bamenda. Ntumfor is one of those who really believe that charity begins at home. As President of the Ndong Awing Development Association, NACDA, Ntumfor did not only work hard to see that electricity comes to Awing but went further to make sure the Fon’s palace was an architectural journal in the village.  When he extended to the rest of the North West region, he developed the philosophy that the best house in every Fondom must be the Fon’s palace. He went ahead to mobilize North West elite in and out of the region to contribute to the transformation of their palaces. He did not end there. He contributed to every village development association that knocked at his door and he had the resources.
Knowing fully well that development is not just about the building of good houses, the provision of electricity and pipe borne water, but more importantly, how man has learnt to treat his fellow man, Ntumfor went beyond to recognize the value in every human being that approaches him. That is why he spends more time assisting individuals and families in the individual needs. Many poor and disadvantaged children would confirm to you that they only went to school or pay their hospital bills thanks to Ntumfor’s prompt intervention. Ntumfor remains a veritable peace crusader and development agent that the North West, Cameroon and the world find difficulties replacing.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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