BY AGBOR FRANKLINE
Pani Lavoisire Ekema Muambo and Robert Molokwa are two youths who are paying dearly for the October 1, 2017 demonstration in Buea, chief town of the South West region of Cameroon. The demonstration, which was geared towards denouncing Cameroon government’s marginalization of citizens of the country’s English-speaking regions (North West and South West regions) and to press towards obtaining independence for the afore-mentioned regions known as ‘Southern Cameroons”, did become violent, though it was programmed to be a peaceful protest.
However, when tension increased across the streets of Buea that fateful day, many, including protesters, on-lookers and ordinary citizens began running helter-skelter for their lives. The commotion was indeed intense as gunshots filled the air.
Though many found safety then, some have continued to pay the price two years after. Such is the case of two youths; Pani Lavoisire Ekema Muambo and Robert Molokwa, both Limbe residents who were part of the Buea demonstrations.
Both were accused of four charges, including unlawful public meeting, riot, escape and propagation of false information. According to one Njie Stanley Etoke who stood as witness against Ekema Muambo and Robert Molokwa, he (Njie) was on his way for a delivery that fateful day with his goods (bags of rice, tomatoes etc) to his clients, when Robert Molokwa, running towards his direction forcefully pushed him to the floor with his goods destroyed and spread to the ground, with Pani Lavoisire Ekema Muambo being his accomplice. According to Njie, he tried to get a hold of Molokwa to no avail. Njie told the Limbe Court of First Instance that he found himself in a difficult condition and sustained bodily injuries and loss of goods. He went ahead to present a medical certificate to attest the bodily injury and a list of articles reportedly lost. Njie therefore claimed FCFA 8 million for the loss and injuries suffered.
Following Njie’s claims, the accused, Ekema Muambo and Robert Molokwa were arrested and detained at the police station where they spent four days and later reportedly escaped to an unknown destination.
In abstentia, they have been found guilty on all four charges, and will each suffer at least seven years imprisonment with fines of at least FCFA 2million.
Their whereabouts however, still remain unknown.