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Hon. Ayah Paul Arrested 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Justice Paul Ayah, Advocate General of the Supreme Court, was arrested in Yaounde in the evening of Saturday, January 21.

The judge who has been a vocal critic of the New Deal regime was reportedly whisked off from his residence at the Tam-Tam Weekend neighbourhood to detention at the Gendarmerie Headquarters.

It is not known why the former CPDM Member of Parliament for Akwaya Constituency was arrested.

But sources close to the authorities hold that the arrest is not unconnected to Government’s crackdown on Anglophone activists in the country.

Ayah’s arrest came a few days after Government banned the Southern Cameroon National Council, SCNC, considered a secessionist movement.

A few years ago, Ayah was reportedly voted the SCNC National Chair in absentia in Kumba in the Southwest Region.

Ayah began having an arm’s length relationship with the regime when he resigned as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

He later resigned from the CPDM and created his own party known as the People’s Action Party, PAP.
He was one of those who challenged the incumbent President Paul Biya in the 2011 Presidential Election.

Even though the super-scale Magistrate was appointed the Advocate General of the Supreme Court, he did not tone down his avalanche of criticisms on the regime.

While reacting to the arrest of the leaders of the Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, Ayah posted a short article on the social media in which he said good leaders are made in prison.

The Post learnt that the Magistrate was arrested with his wife. The security operatives reportedly released his wife later.

It is reported that Ayah was whisked off after he refused to appear at the Gendarmerie Headquarters as invited on Friday January 20.

The man of law reportedly argued that only a Magistrate that is superior to him in rank could interrogate him and not a Military Judge whose rank was inferior to his. Some legal minds hold that the authorities violated the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC, by arresting Ayah during the week end.

Ayah’s arrest brings to three the number of Anglophone elite in pre-trial detention in Yaounde.

The President of the banned Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, Barrister Agbor Balla and his Secretary General Prof. Fontem Neba, are reportedly charged with secession, terrorism and rebellion against the State.

Meanwhile, Mancho Bibixy, the activist of the so called Coffin Revolution in Bamenda is also being detained at the Gendarmerie Headquarters.

Their trial at the Yaounde Military Tribunal is likely to produce legal fireworks, given that a battery of over 30 lawyers has volunteered to defend them.

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