Cases against church leaders
It’s postponement galore
By Wambo Emmanuel in Bamenda
Adjournment of court hearings in recent times is gradually becoming a trend in Cameroon, as several seemingly pertinent cases keep being adjourned with reasons that barely hold water or none at all. From the cases of some members of the banned All Anglophone Consortium and those arrested in relation to the Anglophone lawyers and teachers’ strike, to that of the some clergymen of high standing.
Like the Moderator of PCC, Rt Rev. Fonki Samuel whose case at the Buea High has been postponed to June 5, that of some Catholic Bishops in Bamenda and at least four Catholic mission schools’ principals at the Bamenda Court of First Instance has been moved but to an indefinite date.
The petition against the Archbishop of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua and the Auxiliary Bishop, Michael Miabesue Bibi by a consortium of parents, whose legitimacy and legality is under scrutiny by many, was postponed according to information reaching us that the court had a funeral on Friday April 24, the date set for the hearing. The Consortium of parents with children in some mission academic schools is claiming Fcfa 150 billion from respective officials of the churches accusing them for refusing to teach their children. The Bamenda court of 1stinstance was supposed to have heard the case against these officials on Friday, April 21, 2017 but blamed the postponement on the funeral of a colleague of theirs.
Following the announcement in various congregations and parishes to Christians about the summoning of their spiritual leaders, the Christians, this reporter gathered mobilized themselves to storm the premises of the court to hear and see those responsible for the suit. Further investigation revealed that a ghost towns was called on the day of the hearing but was later called off due to the adjournment of the case. The archbishop of Bamenda, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua alongside the president of the Bamenda provincial Episcopal conference, His Lordship George Nkuo are reported to have rebuked the adjournment of the hearing, stating that they must be judged because as they put it; justice delayed is justice denied.
Meantime, one of the leaders of the said consortium of parents, Colonel Simon Nche Tamabang has issued a disclaimer, stating that he knows nothing about the existence of such a consortium. The disclaimer by the retired colonel was read on nearly all the radio stations in Bamenda. According to the retired colonel’s argument in one of the radio stations in Bamenda, he was approached recently by some unknown individuals wanting to know how many children he has in catholic schools and if he had paid their fees. He said he shared the truth with them but was surprised to hear his name later on as president of the consortium of parents.
According to him, he owns a school which has also not opened and sees no need to head a consortium of parents to sue a school whereas he could also attract same type of suit. This reporter could not get the reactions of the other two names mentioned in the summons; Lt Colonel Terence Sama and Lt colonel LohYai.
Some Bamenda city dwellers The SUN spoke to expressed bitterness over the move to drag the Catholic Bishops and officials of other denominational churches to court. According to Achu Achiri Fred, “this has never happened in the history of the world. This is like indirectly crucifying Jesus for the second time because putting Bishops, PCC Moderator, the Baptist and other church authorities before the court is like judging Christ to be crucified the second time.” Ndi Vera, Tajong Augustine, Doh Andrew, Fonkam Emmanuel amongst others described the move as madness and confusion and pointed an accusing finger at the regime.
The ladies and gentlemen argued that no church or church leaders have refused that children should go back to school pointing out that, they who have taken the Bishops and the moderator to court should be judged first because their own children have not gone back to school.