Barrister Akere Tabeng Muna, renowned international acclaimed lawyer who has been cited repeatedly as a potential successor of president Biya has been summoned to the Secretariat of State for Defence, SED, for interrogation.
The Cameroonian legal mind who holds high ranking positions in international organisations was summoned through Jackson Kamnga, current Bar Council President. In a judicial convocation dated March 20, 2017, the Chief of the Central Services of Judicial Investigations at the headquarters of the national gendarmerie requests Kamga to invite Akere to come to SED on Wednesday March 22.
The convocation, a copy of which Journal du Cameroun stumbled upon, does not state the reasons for the summons. The summons simply indicates that it is in relation to an investigation that had earlier been opened on the law practitioner.
We gathered Akere, popularly known as a law abiding citizen will not show up at the SED tomorrow. We learned he had made plans to travel out of the country before the summons was issued. Our source said he has notified the security officials he would only be available on Friday when he would have returned from his trip abroad.
Akere Muna alongside his brother Barrister Bernard Muna both former presidents of the Cameroon Bar Council, have been actively involved in the ongoing protests in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
Ben Muna was first noticed during the last meeting government held with teachers’ trade union leaders some of whom are on the run and in jail at the moment. He appeared at the office of the North West region at about midnight when reports reached him that striking teachers were being held at gunpoint to call of the strike. In a statement to press, he blasted President Biya for stating that the form of the state cannot be changed.
“President Biya is not God….the future belongs to the youths and they should bloody fight.” He said it is not President Biya who decides whether or not federation can be discussed as he is not the one who brought the two Cameroon’s together.”
As for Akere who is currently under investigation, he has been vocal about the ongoing debate- challenging declarations made by President Paul Biya. It should be recalled that in addition stating on a widely watched program on STV he was present during the declaration of the independence of West Cameroon, he also wrote a couple of intriguing pieces. In one of them he rhetorically asked which Cameroon is one and indivisible- apparently challenging a statement from President Biya who stated earlier this year that Cameroon is one and indivisible and shall so remain. In yet another critical article, he stated “you can oppress all you want, but you cannot kill an ideal”.
In the wake of the arrests and detention of the leaders of the now proscribed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, the duo, Akere and Ben Muna took the lead in the struggle for their release. The latter currently leads a group of over 100 lawyers defending the detained activists who are due to appear in court on March 23.
In addition to being a lawyer of international repute, Akere Muna is, according to wikipedia the Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council. He is also the Sanctions Commissioner of the African Development Bank Group and a Member of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. He previously served as the Vice-Chair of Transparency International, and he has presided over the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union, the Pan African Lawyers Union.
Though he is generally quoted as saying he has no political aspirations, pundits say the ongoing investigations could simply be part of government machinations to put him in jail as has been the case with other high profile citizens who were cited in the past as potential successors of President Biya. Other observers argue the investigations must have been prompted by his apparent support to the ongoing protest in Anglophone Cameroon.