The Buea Court of First Instance has finally granted bail to the Isaac Kamga, Nyah Check and all 14 persons accused of SCNC activism who were arrested on July 17.
The convicted persons were discharged yesterday Tuesday 30, August 2016, after a court session that lasted for only a brief moment. It will be very interesting to note that the decision to release the accused persons wasn’t made known in court. Eye witness accounts hold that the magistrate wrapped up the court session at the speed of light and never gave chance to any other lawyer to say a word.
It’s been 45 days, including the day of their release, since the accused and convicted persons were rounded up at a restaurant in Molyko, Buea for allegedly holding an unlawful meeting. Yesterday’s court session was the fourth with a couple of postponements. The accused persons were made to go through a rigmarole of court sessions.
It’s all been a case full of drama. According to Cameroon Journal’s Charles Ekema report of August 29, the accused persons were charged under an old penal code.
“In a very emotional submission that lasted for well over an hour, Barrister Nkea argued that the charge before the Court was laid in terms of section 231(a) of the old Penal Code whereas the new Penal Code does not have any such section.
“He pointed out that section 231(a) of the old Penal Code under which the accused persons are charged relates to the provisions of the extant Penal Code and that under the new Penal Code the old section 231 now has a subsection (1). That going by the new Penal Code “the accused persons ought to have been charged in terms of section 231(1)(a).” He concluded that since the coming into force of the New Penal Code on the 12 of July, 2016, the provisions of section 231(a) of the Old Penal Code ceased to exist,” Charles wrote.
With clarifications given on the wrongful application of the law, Barrister Nkea then urged the court to grant bail to the accused persons. But no bail was granted. The court session of that day ended with Barrister Nkea pleading with the Court to hear him as this was an application in equity.
What could really have been the reason behind the arrest of these people? No one is certain yet, at least for those who have been going to court to learn of the crime they commited. As it will always be, people are forced to stretch their thinking abilities to areas far off when they can’t find answers to the questions they are asking. According to this report, should one also think that the two techies, Isaac Kamga and Nyah Check, were the targets of the arrest?
Yesterday’s court session was very brief. According to some eye witnesses, the Presiding Judge, Justice Beatrice Nambangi Ntuba, didn’t spend much time to adjourn the session neither did she give any opportunity to the other lawyers to say a word. The court then went to place the accused persons under the Legal Department at the disposal of the State counsel. At this point, pressure started mounting as placards could be seen brandished out of the court and chants heard, calling for the release of the persons accused of SCNC activism
The State counsel finally ordered the release of the persons accused of SCNC Activism later in the evening and the case was adjourned to September 5, 2016.