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‘Parents’ Consortium’ Members Deny Suing Bishops 

Bishops

Some members of the so-called Consortium of Parents that recently dragged Bishops and principals to court in Bamenda and Buea have denied that they took the matter to court.

The announcement pronouncing the denials was read over Bamenda CRTV on April 20, stating that the complainants are not party to the matter faulting the bishops in several instances.

The Consortium of Parents had dragged the Archbishop of Bamenda Diocese, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua, the Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda, His lordship Michael Bibi, along with the Principals of Sacred Heart College Mankon, St. Bede’s College Ashingkom, Our Lady of Lourdes College Mankon and Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo Diocese who is also the President of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference.

The accused were supposed to have appeared before the Court of First Instance Bamenda on April 21 at 9:00 am to answer charges as per summons served on them on April 12.
The case was adjourned to a later late.

In a communiqué published in the Sunday newsletter of St. Bernard’s parish Kedjom Keku, the Archbishop and the Auxiliary Bishop said, “A direct summons was served to us by a group of persons described as the consortium of parents whose children are in the various mission academic institutions.”

According to the Bishops, the so-called consortium is “acting through a certain Colonel Tamambang and Lt. Colonel Terence Sama both of whom are unknown to us. We, your Bishops, together with the Principals of Sacred Heart College Mankon, St. Bede’s College Ashingkom, Our Lady of Lourdes College Mankon and Bishop George Nkuo are supposed to answer charges on seven counts which are hereby summarized.

“Count one that we the Bishops have failed to ask parents to send back their children to school or to cause the deposit of school fees paid into an escrow account despite the notice served on 01/03/2017.

Count two, that we signed a joint communiqué on 09/03/2017 in concertation with others to the effect that the non-resumption of schools is a result of an unresolved political problem. Count three, that we have caused the non-payment of the salaries of teachers in mission schools for some months now, thus, depriving the state of the necessary tax deductions.

Count four, that we have for some months now after collecting school fees refused to teach, feed and accommodate students in schools.

Count five, that we have refused to either teach their children or refund the school fees pursuant to the notice served on 01/03/2017. Count six, that we the Bishops signed a communiqué on 09/02/2017 which propagates false information liable to injure public authorities and national unity and count seven, that we the Bishops in the said communiqué expressed our satisfaction on what we claim to be grievances or apprehensions as being evident thus, attempting to justify such grievances and apprehensions which are carried out against the security of the state.

“The consortium is claiming FCFA 150 billion as special and general damages and prays the court to convict and sentence us accordingly.”

The Bishops state that the summons is addressed not only to them and principals but to all of us and in particular to the parents and guardians on behalf of whom the church opens and runs schools.

They said they would be there to answer the charges while praying for a more meaningful dialogue and for a true and lasting solution to our socio-political problems.


By Peter Adi Fonte

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