28, June 2022
Fonki Samuel, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, should be tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
The Francophone dominated Biya regime in Yaoundé and other Southern Cameroons stake holders should charge Moderator Fonki Samuel with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. The Ambazonia Interim Government, after charges are filed, could arrange for the arrest of Moderator Fonki by Southern Cameroons Restoration Forces.
The Ambazonia Interim Government should not take the law into its own hands and unilaterally arrest Moderator Fonki Samuel. The IG should support the rule of law in Southern Cameroons and see to it that Rev Fonki is charged, arrested and convicted of crimes against humanity for putting the Messaga Ekol and Oliti people of Akwaya Subdivision, Manyu Division at each other’s throat.
Moderator Fonki Samuel comes from a migrant community that moved from the North West and settled in Akwaya Sub Division in Manyu. Two generations successfully amalgamated into what we know today as the Messaga Ekol clan deep within the ancestral home of the Oliti people. The quest for rich farm lands has always placed the Messaga Ekol and the Oliti communities at daggers-drawn positions.
Events recently took a dramatic u-turn following the emergence of a migrant son as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon-and the Messaga Ekol people now have a voice and a powerful religious figure who can make their case heard in Yaoundé and even beyond. His recent press release on the massacre in Akwaya tells it all!!
Moderator Fonki personally signed the communiqué detailing what happened in Akwaya without the consent of the Divisional Officer and the Roman Catholic establishment that virtually controls the majority of the Christian family population in Akwaya Sub Division. It is evidently clear from the press release that Moderator Fonki Samuel Forba (to use his three names) is a stake holder in the land dispute in Akwaya. In the moderator’s own account, “Over 30 people were killed including children, girls, men, women and old people. Some were beheaded. About 5 Nigerians were killed in this attack”.
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The Court is located in Den Hague, Netherlands; The Office of the Prosecutor is responsible for conducting investigations and prosecutions. It is headed by the Chief Prosecutor.
According to Human Rights Watch, “the ICC has one of the most extensive lists of due process guarantees ever written,” including “presumption of innocence; right to counsel ; right to present evidence and to confront witnesses; right to remain silent ; right to be present at trial; right to have charges proved beyond a reasonable doubt; and protection against double jeopardy.”
If Rev Fonki is arrested, there will be no vacuum in the Presbyterian Church. It will instead present an opportunity to have a decent cleric to run the affairs of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai