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Cameroon: Court throws out CRM case against Atanga Nji

dozens of prsons protesting in Bafoussam (c)All rights reserved

The Mfoundi High Court has thrown out the suit filed by the Cameroon Renaissance Movement against the Minister of Territorial Administration describing it as “redundant”.

Hearing the matter yesterday, the Mfoundi High Court said the suit had no purpose given that the date(April 6 and 13) for the planned protests by the party had already past.

Lawyers of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement had earlier in the morning pleaded with the court to overturn a decision from the Minister of Territorial Administration banning a nationwide protest called by the party.

The lawyers advanced three major facts to boost their plea. They said the Minister of Territorial Administration was incompetent to ban the protests, procedural error in banning the protests and violation of the law.

As concerns the incompetence of the Minister of Territorial Administration, the lawyers quoted law no 055/90 of 19 December 1990 which gives the sole competence to Divisional and District Officers to ban a protest march.

Secondly, with regards to the procedural errors, the lawyers argued section 8 of law no 055/90 stipulates a public march can be banned by an order from the Divisional Officer contrary to the communiqué that was signed by the Minister of Territorial Administration. The Minister’s communiqué was not an order and did not notify the concerned, the lawyers argued.

In addition, the above law gives the Divisional Officer the powers to change the itinerary of the march if it could disturb public order, the lawyers argued adding the Minister did not reveal how their march will disturb public order. All these they summarised as a violation of the law.

On his part, the representative of the Ministry of Territorial Administration argued the suit was irrelevant given the dates of the planned protests had passed praying the court to throw out the case. This claim was equally backed by lawyers of the government bench who said overturning the decision of the Minister will be meaningless given that the date of the planned protests had passed. However, the CRM lawyers raised an objection saying they had filed their suit immediately after the Minister’s decision and before the protests and it will only be justice if the court ruled in their favour.

After hours of arguments, hearing was suspended only to resume later at 4pm when the judge threw out the matter to the disappointment of the CRM party who described the decision as a denial of justice.





Published on 03.01.2023

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