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Critically ill Ayah Paul denied access to medical attention

A family statement says his cardiologist has been barred from examining him in the dungeon of the Secretariat of state for Defence, SED

The family of Ayah Paul Abine, Deputy Advocate General at the Supreme Court, arbitrarily arrested and detained since January, has revealed that the super scale magistrate who is at the zenith of his career, is critically sick in detention. The family in press statement said Ayah’s cardiologist is not allowed to visit him for medical examinations.

The family statement said the detained Supreme Court judge suffered a second malaise in his cell on February 17, apparently due to the inadequate circulation of air in his tight and poorly ventilated jail cell.

The family however acknowledged that some government officials who learned of the detainee’s situation, promised to call the attention of competent authorities who would ensure he is escorted to hospital where his cardiologists would carry out all necessary examinations. Ayah’s doctor, the statement said, had since January 25, advised that he should be brought to the hospital for immediate check-up.

His health is said to have been deteriorating by the day since his arrest in mid-January. Though Ayah was arrested from home over one month ago in “total violation of legal, moral and common sense procedures” as the family puts it, he is yet to be charged.

Reports say he has also resisted attempts from gendarmerie officers to chisel out a statement from him. He is said to have stood his grounds, saying he would only speak before a competent commission that meets the legal requirements for the grilling of a sitting Supreme Court Magistrate. Government is yet to issue an official statement regarding his arrest.

Absent at opening of judicial year

Meanwhile Ayah was conspicuously absent at the opening of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Yaounde February 22.  The 2017 judicial year follows a turbulent judicial year characterised by a three month sit-down strike by lawyers of the Common Law extraction. The lawyers who are still on strike and some of whom are in detention, are requesting the creation of a department in the Supreme Court for the hearing of Common Law cases.

Besides the creation of the department which will work side by side the Civil Law department, the lawyers were also demanding the creation of a Common Law department in the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM, the redeployment of Civil Law Magistrates to Civil Law zones (Francophone Cameroon) and Common Law Magistrates to Common Law zones (Anglophone Cameroon).

Observers say the arrest of Ayah Paul Abine who doubles as Chairman of the People’s Action Party is linked to the ongoing protests of English-speaking Cameroonians. They have been protesting against what they describe as a second class citizenship status which they have been burdened with for over 56 years.


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Published on 28.04.2020

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