A United States-based organisation, Human Rights Foundation, HRF, has condemned the Cameroon Government for terminating Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla’s contract with the University of Buea, UB.
The HRF said Mr. Biya’s Government pressured the University of Buea to fire the Anglophone Rights advocate and lawyer.
The criticisms were made in New York on Wednesday, May 13.
According to the foundation’s President, Thor Halvorssen, “Firing Felix Agbor Balla from the University of Buea is a blatant attack on academic freedom, and an attempt to silence the urgent discussion about Cameroon’s crisis.”
He thundered on: “The dictatorship’s campaign of intimidation against the most prominent advocate of the rights of the Anglophone Minority illustrates the contempt that Paul Biya exercises against Cameroon’s human rights defenders. It’s awful!” he said.
The University of Buea, on May 6, terminated a contract with Barrister Agbor Balla, citing the violation of the institutional ethics – setting a question on the Anglophone Crisis. To them, he violated the apolitical nature of the academic milieu in a course he taught: “Political & Constitutional History of Cameroon.”
UB’s decision followed Higher Education Minister’s order of April 20, urging the termination of Agbor Balla’s contract.
According to Minister Fame Ndongo, Agbor Balla took his political ideology to the classroom.
The Human Rights advocate boycotted UB’s disciplinary council, citing non-respect of his fundamental human rights.
On Tuesday, May 12, an official of Cameroon’s Higher Education Ministry, Jean Paul Mbia, claimed that the Barrister, whom he said is holder of a Bachelor’s Degree, was intoxicating students.
Reacting to the accusation Agbor Balla said: “They are trying to do damage control.”
Agbor Balla’s Credentials In A Glance
Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongho is a Barrister at Law of the Supreme Court of Cameroon and Nigeria. He graduated from the University of Yaoundé with an LLB in English Private Law, after which he attended the Nigerian Law School in Lagos wherein he graduated with a BL Second Class Upper Division with a 1st Prize in Civil Procedure.
Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongho was enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in December 1996. He holds an LLM (Cum Laude) in International and European Comparative Law at Vrie University of Brussels and also an LLM (Cum laude) in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Notre Dame, USA.
Agbor Nkongho also holds a Diploma in Public International Law at the Academy of International Law, Hague, Holland, and a Diploma on Theory and Practice of Conflict Prevention in Africa, the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Agbor Nkongho worked as a Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for International Law, University of Brussels; Associate Legal Officer at the International Criminal Court for Sierra Leone; Legal Officer Trial Chamber, International Criminal Court for Sierra Leone; Human Rights Officer United Nations mission in Afghanistan; Legal Officer, United Nations Police in DR Congo and Legal Officer UN Mission in Afghanistan.
He created the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in 1998, and, in 2005, it was transformed to the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, upon a meeting with other African students of the LLM programme at Notre Dame University, USA.