The Fako Lawyers Association (FAKLA) condemn the circumstances under which Agbor Nkongho Felix was dismissed as instructor from the University of Buea.
On Tuesday May 12, 2020, Barristers Benjamin Enow Agbor and Nji Aben Valentine, FAKLA’s President and Secretary General signed a press release.
In the press release, they justified that the dismissal of Agbor Balla as instructor from the University of Buea is illogical as no concerning facts were raised.
Despite Agbor Balla’s boycott to answer present before the University’s Disciplinary Panel on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at the Board Room of the Central Administrative block, the disciplinary panel “unanimously agreed” to terminate his contract with the University of Buea.
Agbor Balla was accused of breaching professional obligations because he set a question relating to the current anglophone crisis for a course titled “Political and Constitutional History of Cameroon”.
The question which to his dismissal reads “The Anglophone crisis since 2016 was caused by lawyers’ and teachers’ strikes. Assess the validity of this statement. (40 marks).”
According to the Disciplinary Panel of the University of Buea, the question is in violation of Article 40 and 42 (paragraph 1) of decree no. 93/027 of 19 January 1993, modified and completed by decree no. 2005/342 of 10 September 2005, to define provisions common to all university institutions.
Agbor Balla, rather than appearing in defense, sought the services of Sheriff-Bailiff Tapa Justin Lebrin to serve his “Appearance under protest” to the Vice Chancellor of the University.
In a unanimous agreement with members of the Disciplinary Committee the Vice Chancellor of UB decided to “terminate with immediate effect the Contract of Mr. Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla recruited as Instructor in the Department of Law through decision No. 2015/0514/UB/AcA/TTSD/TSS of June 2, 2015”.
FAKLA denounces circumstances of Balla’s dismissal
In response, the Fako Lawyer Association said “the circumstances of the said dismissal which was ventilated on social media platforms raises pertinent human rights concerns which the Mandate of the Fako Lawyers Association obliges it to deplore.”
According to FAKLA, the dismissal of Balla from the University of Buea is illogical with no factual evidence raised
“This amounts to an attempt at the censorship of the assessment procedure in a University that was created as an Anglo-Saxon University,” says the lawyers.
FAKLA pointed that a similar questions were set by lecturers in the University of Yaounde II, Soa.
One of the question from Soa reads, “The Anglophone problem in Cameroon in its new developments since 2016, is it nationalism or ethnicity? Discuss.”
FAKLA said unfortunately the lecturer who set the above question was not sanctioned for that, and should indeed not be sanctioned.
The question that raises concern is why was Agbor Balla sanctioned for asking a similar question with his colleague from the French speaking university.
In the press release, the lawyers representing FAKLA says “FAKLA weeps for the University of Buea, that in spite of the fact that it was created to operate as an Anglo-Saxon University – one of whose cardinal characteristics should be its autonomy and independence, the administration of the University now allows itself to be manipulated by politicians and political considerations.”