Penal Code Palaver: No more immunity for cabinet ministers 0

The Constitutional Law Committee of the National Assembly met recently in the so called Glass Palace at Ngoa Ekellé Yaounde. The CPDM MPs examined changes to the bill on the Penal Code by the Senate. The members of the Commission led by Zondol Hersesse found themselves once again facing the all powerful Minister of State, Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso to review a text that the whole house had voted for in a plenary session held on 22 June.

This reconsideration of a bill is consistent with the provisions of Article 30 of the Constitution of Cameroon. What is this new examination of the text? An amendment was made to Article 127 of the draft law on the Penal Code at the plenary session which was adopted by the Senate. At the center of many debates, the article concerned in particular “the encroachments of the court on certain immunities.” Clearly, the text adopted and sent to the Senate indicated that any magistrate or police officer who, in violation of laws on immunity stops or prosecute a member of government or parliament shall be imprisoned for one to five years.

The new formulation of the text, according to Senator David Siegfried Etame Massoma, President of the Constitution Acts Commission of the Senate now reads: “is punished with imprisonment of one to five years, magistrate or police officer who continues, stop or judge anyone, in violation of laws on immunity.” Clearly, the CPDM crime syndicate has once again moved the goal post and members of government are no longer covered by this provision.

Senator Etame Massoma also pointed out that the amendment to this article was introduced by the government following the debate that had aroused from this provision in the Penal Code. Pursuant to section 3-B of Article 30 of the Constitution, the text which was discussed yesterday in the Committee of the National Assembly will be again be adopted by the entire chamber. After this exercise, the Speaker of the National Assembly will pass the final version of the text to the President of the Republic for promulgation. The political calendar promises to be very heavy on the side of those pro Biya comedians at the Ngoa Ekellé glass house. The end of the current session is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday 1 July 2016.

Sama Ernest with files from Cameroon Tribune