August 2, 2017
HRH, Hon Lord Justice Ayah Paul Abine is one of the eldest among the Southern Cameroonian detainees, in Yaoundé Prisons. He is currently being detained at the Secretariat of State at the Ministry of Defense in Charge of the National Gendarmerie, better known by its French acronym SED (Secretariat d’Etat au Ministere de la Defence, en charge de la Gendarmerie,) since January 21, 2017 when he was picked up at his residence in Yaoundé, without any arrest warrant.
No Charge after Six Months
Curiously, since the arrest of this judge and despite his age (67) he is being detained, according to his family, under life threatening conditions, and has not been charged as at the day of publishing this report. There have been several reports about the possibility of Hon Ayah losing his sight amid his continuous frail health situation. He was in June 2017 falsely rumoured dead! Yaoundé authorities have remained deaf over calls for his release.
The reasons for his arrest remain a mystery although it is suspected that he is being detained because he is a senior Southern Cameroons elite and for his request for a return to a ten state federation following his party’s constitution though he often said his personal opinion is the will of the people. It is suspected that with apparently no charge against Hon Ayah, the military Tribunal, land him similar accusations like the other detainees, notably, hostility against the nation among others.
Hon Ayah had never hidden his thoughts. To him, the union between the then East and West Cameroon was not working. The super scale Judge had argued that on point of law there was and there is no legal binding document keeping the two countries together.
He too was of the opinion that if there is no possibility of a return to a federal state, Southern Cameroons has the right and should be allowed to go its separate way. He wrote and granted interviews, expressing his views as politely and humbly as he could. He never was violent and never supported same.
There is no wonder that Hon Ayah Paul on July 27th 2017 took the Government of Cameroon to the United Nations and accused them for kidnap, illegal arrest, demanding huge compensation.
Enriching Legal Career
At the time of his arrest he was deputy Attorney General at Cameroon’s Supreme Court in Yaoundé. With a 24 year career in the judiciary, Hon Paul Ayah Abine isone of the longest serving members of the judicial arm of government, the lone Southern Cameroonian who has attained that rank in the country’s judiciary. He has been Chief Magistrate, Presiding and legal officer, District Deputy Attorney, Head of High Courts in different regions of Cameroon.