This image has generated many comments online. Some cannot believe it: “What? Is it really the Zoétélé Justice Court, municipality in the Southern region?”. Oh yes! It is inside this warehouse that hearings for presumed guilty parties are carried out, revealed the mayor of the town, Odile Ngbwa.
Court sessions take place in this warehouse which serves as a High Court (TPI in French). It is thus part of the landscape of this town, located about one hundred kilometres away from the capital, Yaoundé.
The main room of this makeshift judiciary complex is occupied “once a week”, informs Mrs Ngbwa. We learn from her that lawyers and judges who often work there, come from the larger town of Sangmelima, capital of the Dja-et-Lobo district. “When a Justice Court looks like this, it opens the way to all procedural irregularities”, laments a lawyer.
To date, demands to build a justice court, addressed to the Minister of Justice and his counterpart at the Local Government and Decentralisation, have not been answered. This justice court has existed for decades to serve the 30,000 Zoétélé inhabitants (statistics from the 2005 general census).
Monique Ngo Mayag