The much-mediatised court judgment of the Buea Court of First Instance which sentenced a Buea Traditional Ruler, Chief Njie Mandenge to a one-year imprisonment for fraud has been appealed at the level of the South West Court of Appeal, Buea.
The appeal submissions were recently presented to AC, by the lawyer of Chief Mandenge, Barrister Michael M. Awafong.
In the appeal motion, the lawyers of the traditional ruler are challenging the ruling on three important counts. First, they state, “1) That the learned trial Magistrate erred in Law by convicting the appellant in his personal name and capacity whereas he did not act as such in the transaction that led the Suit No. CFIB/32/2016.
“2) That the learned trial Magistrate erred in law by ordering provisional execution in the sum of 42.000.000frs to be paid appeal notwithstanding.
“3) That the learned trial Magistrate erred by imputing the cost of executing the judgment on the appellant, which sum is speculative”, the appeal letter revealed.
It also stated that “the appellant shall file additional Grounds of appeal and Written
Submissions upon receipt of the Records of Proceedings”.
AC learnt from sources close to the Chief, that earlier reports claiming that Chief Njie Mandenge escaped from his palace about two years ago as a result of the court sentence, were misleading. Sources familiar with the issue and close to the Chief, say he in fact left the village in 2018 when Ambazonian fighters started kidnapping the Chiefs in Buea Subdivision. The fighters later set Chief Mandenge’s palace ablaze in 2019.
It was revealed to AC, that for reasons of safety of his life, he was forced to relocate from Buea to a safer place, where his life was less at risk, than was the case when he was in Buea, and in his palace.
The highly awaited South West Court of Appeal ruling on the case, will shed more light on the issue, and if it is not brought to an end, Chief Mandenge still has a right to file another appeal at the Supreme Court, if he is not satisfied with the judgment of the Southwest Appeal Court.