By DOH JAMES SONKEY
The President of the Republic, Paul Biya last February 7, 2018 finally created the Constitutional Council highly expected by citizens for the past 22 years. The Head of State put in place the institution by appointing its President and ten members for a six years mandate eventually renewable. Here are their profiles
Atangana Clement: President
The pioneer President of the newly created Constitutional Council in Cameroon, Clement Atangana is not a new name in election management in the country. The 77 years old retired Super Scale Magistrate of the first group has indeed been in charge of election litigations for over 20 years now. He was born on 20 September 1941 at Ekoumeyek in the Ngomedzap Sub Division in the Nyong and So’o Division of the Centre region. Upon his graduation from the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM, Clement Atangana integrated the magistracy corps on December 20, 1968 where he occupied the posts of President of the administrative Bench of the Supreme Court, Adviser at the Supreme Court, President of the Court of Appeal of the Centre, Procureur General at the North Appeal Court, Deputy Director of judicial affairs and Cells at the Ministry of Justice, President of First Instant Courts of Eseka, Bafia, Mora, Sangmelima etc.
He equally served as President of General Vote Counting Commission for legislative elections and presidential election in 1997.
Clement Atangana is also a permanent member of the Supreme Magistracy and has served a member of the Economic, social and cultural rights of the UN since 3 mandates.
He is married and a father of 8 children.
The following were appointed members;
This graduate from the Higher Teachers Training College of Cameroon he was posted to Maroua in the Far North Region in 1975 before being appointed a year later as Attaché to the cabinet of the President of the Economic and Social Council.
In 1978, he was appointed as Attaché at the Presidency of the Republic, and later appointed as Officer in charge of Special Duties in1982. It is in this position that he gathered a lot of experience which enabled him to serve efficiently as Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health for 10 years since 1989 and later at the Ministry of Technical and Scientific Research.
Bonde Emmnauel was appointed Secretary of State in charge of Roads at the Ministry of Public Works in 1997 and later as Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform in 2006 and from 2011 to October 2015, he served as Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development.
He is therefore expected to put his over 40 years of experience in the public service at the newly created Constitutional Council.
His appointment into the Constitutional Council came up at the time he was serving since last January 10, 2018 as President of the Chambre of Arbitration and Reconciliation at the National Olympic and Sport Committee of Cameroon.
This Professor Emeritus of Cameroon universities has been Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Yaounde II.
Joseph-Marie Bipoun-Woum was appointed Minister of Culture in 1992 and in 1994, Minister of Sports and Sports and Physical Education where he served for two years.
When he was dropped from government, he returned to amphitheatres to teach Constitutional Law and International Law and in 2008, he became member of the Chambre of Arbitration of the International Court of Justice at Haye in Belgium for a six years mandate.
Charles Etienne Lekene Donfack
Born on 6 November 1949 at Fossong Wentcheng in Dschang, Charles Etienne Lekene Donfack has served his country in several capacities. This holder of PhD in Public Law and Political Science since 1997 became Minister of Town in August 2002-2006 where he was later raised to the rank of Minister of State.
Lekene Donfack was elected Member of Parliament for the Menoua constituency from 2007-2013. When his madate ended, he returned to his teaching profession in amphitheatres.
After serving as Chief of Service for teaching and research at the University of Yaounde, he later became in charge of judicial affairs at the Ministry of Public Service. This former Dean of the Faculty of Judicial Sciences of the University of Douala equally became Director of Prospective and Cooperation at the Ministry of Higher Education.
Florence Rita Arrey
Born on 18 August 1948, Florence Rita Arrey is a native of the South West region. She was the first woman to be appointed in 1990 Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal in Cameroon.
This holder of a Diploma in Magistracy from ENAM, Florence Rita Arrey in 1974 was the first woman to be appointed State Counsel of the Court of First Instance.
She served as President of the Court of First Instance Tiko.
Having served as Advocate General of the Court of Appeal, Judge of the Supreme Court in 2000, Director of Judicial Professions in the Ministry of Justice and Technical Adviser in the same Ministry, Justice Florence will confidently perform expected duties as member of the Constitutional Council. She is currently the Vice President of the International Association of Women Judges.
She was elected in 2011 as Judge of the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunal (MICT).
On the international scene, she is Vice President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Paul Nchoji Nkwi
Born in 1940, Paul Nchoji Nkwi is Professor Emeritus and a traditionalist from the Kom Fondom, Boyo Division in the North West Region of the country. He is the Founding President of the Pan African Anthropological Association, Founding Executive Secretary of the Cameroon Academy of Science and has been the Policy Adviser and now Shadow Cabinet Minister of Social Affairs, Youth Development and Sport in the leading opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF party.
Prof Nchoji Paul Nkwi studied Anthropology and Education at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and later at the Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaounde and the Catholic University of Cameroon-Bamenda where he also served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor after retiring from the public service.
He has made his mark as a visiting Professor at the Havard Medical School, University of South Carolina, University of Frankfurt, St Thomas Acquinas Major Seminary, Bambui, Bamenda, and as a Research Fellow at the University of Bergen, Norway.
Baskouda Jean Baptiste
Born toward 1957, Jean-Baptiste Baskouda is one of the most experienced Secretaries General of Ministries after serving as Secretary General in the then Ministry of Mines, Water and Energy, then Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
He also occupied the positions of Deputy Director of the Civil Cabinet in the Presidency of the Republic, Technical Adviser at the Presidency and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Territorial Administration in charge of Prisons.
He graduated from the Yaounde National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) in 1984 as a Labour and Social Security Administrator. Before that, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Economics in 1982 from the then University of Yaounde.
Before his appointment into the Constitutional Council, Jean-Baptiste Baskouda was since his appointment by President Biya in 2013 serving as Senator.
Bah Oumarou Sanda
Born in Garoua in the North Region in 1940, Bah Oumarou Sanda is one of the eleven pioneer members of the Constitutional Council.
Before his appointment, Bah Oumarou Sanda was serving as Cameroon Ambassador to Chad in N’Djamena since February 2008.
This Magistrate by training after his graduation from ENAM has served in several courts in Cameroon in the towns of Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam, Foumbot etc.
Before his appointment as Cameroon Ambassador to Chad, Bah Oumarou Sanda was Deputy Secretary General in charge of Administrative Affairs at the National Assembly.
Fouman Akame Jean
Jean Fouman Akame who until his appointment into the Constitutional Council was Technical Adviser at the Presidency of the Republic was born on 31 August 1937 at Ndonkol in the Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region. This Magistrate by training integrated this corps on 3 August 1966 and was appointed Vice President of the Appeal Court of Dschang where he served from 1969-1970. He later became Adviser and President of of the Administrative Chamber of the Federal Court of Justice from 1970-1971, President of the Appeal Court of Garoua from 1971-1973 and President of the Appeal Court of Yaounde from 1973 to 1974.
He served as Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice from 1980-1983 and in June 1983, he was appointed into the government as Minister of Territorial Administration till 7 July 1984. Since 22 November 1986, he has been Technical Adviser at the Presidency and Board Chair of the University of Yaounde II in 2005 and Board Chair of the University of Yaounde I in 2008.
Ahmadou Tidjani who is on retirement since 2010 and living in Ngaoundere is a native from Doualayel near Tignere in the Faro and Deo Division. This former governor of West and Far North provinces was supervising his cattle. After his graduation at the National School of Administration and Magistracy, Admadou Tidjani started his career in 1981 as State Inspector General. He later on became Senior Divisional Officer of Mayo-Sava, Nkam, Mayo-Louti and Mifi Divisions.
This Super scale Principal Civil Administrator is a Muslim and father of five children.