By Roland Mbonteh (Originally published in Eden Newspaper)
Professor Kofele-Kale Wants Corruption Elevated to an International Crime.
The distinguished Professor of Law at the Southern Methodist University in the United States of America, USA, has posited that corruption should be elevated to the status of a crime in positive international law and therefore make the ill which he said diminishes the human race have a universal jurisdiction.
Prof. Ndiva Kofele Kale made the statement recently while presenting a keynote address on "Economic crimes and International justice", during a symposium that focused on "Corruption and its Implications on Human Rights" organized by a Buea based NGO, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA.
The Professor and expert in International Law highlighted the devastating effects of corruption on a nation arguing that corruption which he described as "indigenous spoliation" renders government regulations ineffective. Prof. Kale maintained that corruption does not only reduce economic growth and discourage foreign investors but also decreases and digress government revenue.
While regretting that stolen wealth is never invested in the home country, Prof. Kofele Kale outlined the advantages of elevating corruption to positive International economic crime such as Universal jurisdiction principle whereby any leader who pilfers state funds and stashed it in foreign countries could be captured and tried.
Corruption Under Cameroon Law
Talking on Corruption under Cameroon Law, the Vice President of the South West Court of Appeal, Justice Rose Mbah Acha, stressed the National and International instruments that have been put in place to sanction corruption in Cameroon. One of such she said is the Penal code which through its various sections spell out the sanctions for different forms of corruption. She also highlighted the activities of the National Anti corruption, CONAC, created in 2006 to combat corruption within the public and private sectors in Cameroon.
On his part, Prof. Tazoacha Asonganyi in his presentation on Political corruption as a Human Rights Violation, said corruption goes beyond taking and giving bribes but also making text non functional or sabotaging them by putting phrases that make the text irrelevant in fighting corruption.
Asonganyi said he does politics as a hobby castigated the laws in Cameroon which he said are irrelevant if perpetrators are not brought to law. The former SDF scribe qualified this as "Internal sabotage" of the laws which has rendered the legal instruments inapplicable.
According to Asonganyi, the way forward is only by putting in place strong institutions and the enforcement of the rule of law. He said no human individual can work without rules and regulations as it is obtained in Cameroon now where many people are acting with impunity because the rules and regulations are only on paper.
On his part, the Executive Director of the Centre of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, Barrister Felix Agbor, Nkongho while elaborating on the choice of the symposium topic "Corruption and its Implications on Human Rights", said the topic is relevant because corruption is the biggest problem facing Cameroon from the socio economic and political perspectives.