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Common Law Lawyers Denounce ‘Illegal Union’ 

• Reiterate Stance Against Erosion Of Common Law

• Say Unity Is Not Forged By Harmonisation But Respect Of Cultures

• Assert That Anglophones Are In Bondage

• Create Common Law Council

Common law lawyers have vowed to stand against what they describe as the dishonest manipulation of the Southern/West Cameroons in a unification they refer to as an illegal union.

The lawyers said the illegal union created an enabling environment for the organised eradication of the Common Law heritage of the Southern Cameroons.

This was one of the resolutions the lawyers took after day-long deliberations at a Cameroon Common Law Lawyers Conference organized in Buea, Southwest Region, on February 13, 2016.

Barrister Gilbert Abunaw chaired the conference with Barrister Yuah Ophilia Sendze as co-chair and former Bar Presidents like Barristers Bernard Muna, Eta Bisong, among others.
The lawyers also resolved to uphold and pursue the Bamenda Resolutions and the implementation of the United Nations Resolution of April 1961.

Following the Bamenda Declaration and what they described as Government’s disregard of their resolutions and proposals, the lawyers reiterated their stance against the erosion of the Common Law system, the Anglophone educational system and abuse of the rights of Anglophone minority in Cameroon.

The lawyers said they were out to address the issues that affect the Common Law system, Common Law lawyers and Anglophone Cameroonians and seek ways to protect them.

Meanwhile, Barrister Muna cautioned the lawyers to be rational and also identify the needs of the society as they are.

He stated that freedom is not only for the lawyers but for all people of the former Southern Cameroons.
Barrister Agbor Balla corroborated Muna, adding that Common Law lawyers do not operate in isolation.

In relation to the Anglophone problem, Muna averred: “We may be remotely controlled and enslaved by money, position, favour from higher powers to the extent that we accept or do things that are not in the interest of the English-speaking people of the former Southern Cameroons, who are in bondage without realising it because the long stay in hardship has forced many to accept hardship as normal.”

On the issue of national unity, Muna asserted that national unity does not depend on harmonisation but in accepting people’s cultures and respecting their rights as there are and not in forcing people to a system which, in effect, will be alienating them.

He enjoined the freedom fighters to cast away the fear of being labeled and stigmatised by the enemies of freedom, reminding them that God will not bring back the Mandelas, the Ghandis, or the Martin Luther Kings when he has made other leaders like an Agbor Balla and many other freedom fighters who have the people at heart.

Earlier, Barrister Agbor Balla, President of Fako Lawyers Association, FAKLA, while welcoming the Cameroon Common Law lawyers, reminded them of the place of the Common Law as the cradle of who they are as a people.

He appealed to the lawyers to bury their differences and uphold their primordial role of protecting and promoting Common Law, which he said is gradually being eroded.

He, however, said they as lawyers will use all legal means possible to have pertinent issues addressed.
The lawyers also created a Common Law Council to be headed by Barrister Eta Bisong as Chairperson and other members charged with the responsibility of ensuring the security of the Common Law practice.
The council has been given three months to draft a roadmap for adoption and implementation of the May 9, 2015 Resolution.

The Buea Declaration will be handed to the President of the Southwest Court of Appeal, who promised to forward it to hierarchy.

The lawyers also decried the fact that the President of the Bar did not submit the Bamenda Resolutions to the Minister of Justice as was expected.

By Andrew Nsoseka

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