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Bar General Assembly Suffers Another Setback 

 Stormy Session To Hold May 21

 Anglophone Plight, Empty Bar Coffers Top On Agenda

 Where Is Land Title For Bar Acquired Land?

By Joe Dinga Pefok

The Ordinary General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association whichwas postponed to Saturday, April 30, has been shifted to Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the Castel Hall in Bonapriso, Douala.
It would be recalled that when the ordinary General Assembly, GA,first slated February 26, 2016, opened at Castel Hall Bonapriso, Douala,it was noticed after the opening ceremony that there was a lack of a quorum for the meeting to hold.

The lawyers, who were in attendance unanimously attributed the lack of quorum to the fact that the GA was scheduled on an official working day when many lawyers do have professional business to handle. They said it had become a tradition for the GA to hold on Saturdays.

But the organisers of the February 26 occasion explained that they were forced to convene iton a Friday, because the management of Castel Hall told them that the hall had already been booked for all the weekends of February and March. Castel Hall owned by Les Brasseries du Cameroun, is the only hall in Douala that can conveniently host the BarAssembly, considering the large number of lawyers.
The hall is highly solicited for, especially duringweekends.

After the failed February 26 meeting, members of the Bar adopted Saturday, April 30, as the new date of the GA (The Post No.1705 of February 29, 2016).
The current President of the Bar General Assembly, Barrister Nico Halle, and the other members of the Organising Committee, were thus supposed to meet the management of Castel Hall to book for the date of April 30.

When The Post contacted Barrister Halle by phone on April 5, he disclosed that when they contacted the management of Castel Hall, they were told thatitwas booked for all the weekendstill June. He said it took quitean effortfrom them to negotiate with the management of the hall to reserve it for Saturday, May 21.

Burning Issues To Be Discussed

A number of burning issues that were supposed to be discussed at the February 26 GA, are expected to come up during the May 21 meeting. Some of the issues which have to do with Common Law lawyers in particular, include the appointment of Public Notaries in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, as well as issues pertaining to Common Law System and the position of the Bar Council.
Also, several lawyers in the country that talked to The Postsaid the management of Bar finances will be a hot issue.

In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the February 26 meeting,Barrister Halle said the coffers of the Bar have been empty since they took over the management in January 2015, with Barrister Jackson Ngnie Kamga as President of the Bar Council.
He attributed the financial difficulties of the Bar to the fact that several lawyers have, in recent years, not been paying their annual dues.

But what Halle did not say was why many lawyers have been feet dragging over the payment of Bar dues.
However, several lawyers across the country alleged gross embezzlement in the Bar by past leaderships. The lawyers have vowed that they will speak out their minds on the issue, at the May 21 General Assembly.

Allegations About Land Acquisition ProjectBarrister Ngnie Kamga, Bar Council President

One of the hot issues within the Bar has been the land acquisition project. The piece of land in Yaounde is meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Cameroon Bar Association.The land acquisition project started during the period when Douala-based Barrister Charles Tchoungang was the President of Bar Council, to the period when Bamenda-based Barrister Francis Sama became Bar Council President.
The land acquisition project allegedly swallowed several millions and several lawyers are saying that there are a number of unanswered questions on the financesof the project.

It is also alleged that the Bar does not even have a land title for theso called acquired land.
The two former Presidents, Tchoungang and Sama, are expected to present reports as well as make evaluations of the state of progress of the land project under their mandates at the May 21 GA.
Many other issues are expected togenerate heated debates

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