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Court Fines Yaounde City Council FCFA 150 Million 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

A Yaounde Magistrate Court has slammed a fine of FCFA 150 million on the Yaounde City Council and some of its officials for destroying a building belonging to one micro-finance institution at the Madagascar neighbourhood in Yaounde.

The judgment that was delivered, Tuesday, January 25, was the logical conclusion of a case one Gilbert Ndjamo filed in 2006 on behalf of his institution. Presided at by a panel of female judges; Justices Akoa, Bonono and Aminatou, the court condemned the Deputy Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council, Jean Ngougou, to a six-month imprisonment term.

The Chief of Service for Urbanisation at the council, Nkodo Bidima, and his deputy were equally slammed half a year jail term. The Court found the accused persons guilty of destroying the building which was far away from the pavement and which was constructed following all required legal provisions.

It was reported that, in October 2006, the accused persons ordered the Yaounde City Council workers and the police to demolish a two-storey building at the Madagascar neighbourhood.
At the time they were destroying the building, they accused the owners of failing to respect the regulations in force, and that they did not obtain a building permit. On account of these claims, the City Council used caterpillars to demolish the storey building that was constructed on a 657 square-meter piece of land at the cost of FCFA 200 million.

The owners of the building argued that they were in order and dragged the Yaounde City Council to court to compensate them. But ever since the case was filed in court in October 2006, neither the Government Delegate of the Yaounde City Council, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna, nor his Assistants appeared in court. The case went on in their absence for five years. Speaking to the press shortly after the judgment was delivered, the defence lawyer, Barrister Atagana Ayissi, said he would go on appeal.

The lawyer of the civil party, Barrister Jules Bertrand Noudji, saluted the judgment; saying it was passing on a clear message that even State institutions must respect the law. He said he was going to make sure that the judgment is executed and the culprits reprimanded.

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