The judiciary corps of Cameroon has accorded Late Jean FOUMAN AKAME a befitting homage, Thursday 31st January, 2019. The super-scale Magistrate and Judge, 82, breathed his last on 13th January, 2019, in Swiss capital Geneva. His lamentable demise followed a protracted illness, which had prompted his evacuation abroad.
The unexpected passing away of the Constitutional Council member sent shock waves across the length and breadth of Cameroon, and the judiciary circles in particular. The tremor was relived on Thursday as judicial rites occasioned premises of the venerable Constitutional Council and the Supreme Court respectively. From the Yaounde Conference Centre, the hearse took off to the Supreme Court, arriving at 12.30 p.m. The Supreme Magistracy, the Chancellery, Heads of Courts, other top-notch kindred of the judiciary, Members of Government and the Bar Association, were among the crowd that saluted the arrival of mortal remains with a standing ovation.
The atmosphere was solemn and heavily shrouded in remorse. The overwhelming sorrow was largely inspired by the fact that, just six months back, Jean FOUMAN AKAME eulogised over the deceased Inspector General of Judiciary Services at the Ministry of Justice, Madam Josette RIPAULT ESSOMBA. In order to save time, the homage proper was strictly reserved for members of the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Court, the Chancellery, and other personalities ranking as such. The Minister of State, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Laurent ESSO, was represented at the rituals by his deputy - Barrister Jean De Dieu MOMO.
The only two eulogies of the afternoon came from a close friend doubling as former Procureur General of the Supreme Court, Martin RISSOUK À MOULONG, and the First President of the said institution, Daniel MEKOBE SONE. To MEKOBE SONE, it was a “deserved” homage to a “pioneer”, a judiciary “icon”, a “charismatic”, “reserved Magistrate”, and a “dignified” member of the Constitutional Council of Cameroon. After successfully undergoing elementary and secondary education in his home country, the Ndonkol patriarch studied Law at Université Portiers in France. Upon graduation, he enrolled into the Bordeaux School of Magistracy, coming out in flying colours.
Upon return to Cameroon, Jean FOUMAN AKAME was integrated into Magistracy on 3rd August, 1960. That was the Genesis of what has now been termed a rich and exceptional career. He held numerous judiciary positions across the board, notably President of the Yaoundé Court of Appeal, Director of Judiciary Affairs and the Seals at the Ministry of Justice (MINJUSTICE), Secretary General of MINJUSTICE. In 1983, Mr. FOUMAN was appointed Minister of Territorial Administration. Three years later, he was drafted into the Presidency of the Republic by the Head of State, as Technical Adviser in Charge of Judiciary Affairs. In 1987, the illustrious FOUMAN acceded the post of Secretary to the Supreme Council of Magistracy. In 1988, he became Technical Adviser at the Secretariat General of the Presidency of the Republic. On 7th February, 2018, he was appointed member of the Constitutional Council, the same month he would be enrolled into the Council of the Wise at the said institution.
It should be mentioned that in April 2010, the Ndonkol hero was designated President of the Court of First Instance at l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. He represented Cameroon severally before international jurisdictions, as well as occupied several administrative posts across state institutions and para-statals. For this reason, the deceased was meritoriously decorated with medals, the highest being Grand Officer of the National Order of Valour.
According to the First President of the Supreme Court, Daniel MEKOBE SONE, Jean FOUMAN AKAME was the oldest and most experienced Magistrate in the echelon of Magistracy. He also described the fallen as one of the most loyal servants to the State of Cameroon. His contributions to the entire justice system are immeasurable as his footprints glow in the sands of time. The judiciary fraternity once more feels battered bidding farewell to a revered luminary. However, a consoling factor remains the fact that Jean FOUMAN AKAME leaves much in store for posterity.
After the event, the hearse headed for the Mary Queen of the Apostles Basilica Mvolyé, for a requiem Mass. Thereafter the corpse was conveyed to his native village, Ndonkol, in the Dja and Lobo Division of the South Region of Cameroon.