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Lawyer Dares SDO Over Appointments At Trouble-Plagued Meme Land Service 

By Maxcel Fokwen
Barrister Philip Awutah Atubah, Counsel for the Kumba Traditional Council, has challenged appointments at the Meme Divisional Land Service made by the Prefect of the Division, Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong.
Speaking to reporters in Kumba on Monday April 16, Awutah said he was faulting the appointments of Interim Divisional Chiefs of Services at the State institution following a decision of the then Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Rene Emmanuel Sadi, which prohibited such appointments.

Awutah said, the Ministerial Arête No 00002805/C/MINATD/CAB of June 29 2015 addressed to Regional Governors and Prefects forbids such appointments without the consent of the Minister concerned.
Relying on the letter, the Counsel said a Prefectural Order of the SDO last February making such appointments needs to be revisited.

Quizzed on his interest in such appointments, Awutah said as Counsel for the Kumba Traditional Council, he is privy to a machinery of fraud at the Meme Divisional Land Service. Awutah argued that some of those appointed are the cause of the land problems plaguing the Division.

“What I want the Minister of State Property , Surveys and Land Tenure to know is that appointing these persons will be like lubricating the fraud machinery at the Meme Divisional Land Service. There is fraud going on there,” he asserted.
He said his client has matters of land involving the said service, reason why he is interested in what happens within the Land Service.

Mukonje-Kumba Boundary Dispute
Awutah said the Administrative Court, which ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to handle the boundary dispute involving Mukonje and Kumba did not sustain the action of the former SDO.
He explained that the same court stated that the decision of the former SDO for Meme, David Koulbout Aman, to demarcate the boundary was not correct.

“It is only at the level of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, MINAT. A Commission to be headed by the Director of Territorial Organisation will visit the field before a decision is made on that boundary issue. So, once a nullity, always a nullity. I have signed a circular to the effect that nobody should buy land in that area until the boundary dispute is settled,” Awutah stated.

DO Confronted In Last land Deal
Out-gone Divisional Officer, DO, for Kumba III, Jude Ewane Mbong on Monday, April 16, carried out a field visit with an individual expressing interest to own land in the disputed zone. The applicant had applied for pillars, but problems developed over who was to sign the land documents.

Awutah said the concerned; a woman opted that a representative of the Nfon of Kumba will sign her documents, while another individual showed up from Mukonje.
DO Ewane Mbong retreated without planting pillars following the confusion on the field. Mbong is quoted as saying he went to the spot to defend the interest of the applicant.

That was Mbong’s last day at work as DO of Kumba III. He will handed over on Tuesday, April17.
However, the Prefect is yet to comment on the context of the February 2018 interim appointments.