Dismissal of Gabonese judge stirs controversy

Gabonese judges are reacting to the suspension of Paulette Ayo Mba Akolly, President of the Libreville Court of Appeal.

Akolly had approved an opposition request for a medical examination of President Ali Bongo.

The aim was to ensure that he was capable of leading the country. Germain Nguema Ella is President of Gabon Judges’ Union.

We have no choice but to continue to strike at this system and their iniquitous decision.

“It seems that the colleague has overlooked it. But how can she ignore it. By deciding to refer the case back on the 26th, had it somehow decided that the decision of the Court of Cessation had no value? But she can’t say it. It is not for the Court of Appeal to assess the decisions of the Court of Cessation, whatever that decision may be. Because the decisions of the Court of Cessation have absolute force in the sense that it has no appeal. And if there is an appeal, there is only the Court of Cessation in the case of a flap of judgment which can decide whether it was wrong or not”, he said.

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For Nicolas Nguema, the suspension will not undermine their determination. Nguema tells , despite the suspension, they will continue to their fight to know about he health status of their president.

“We are asking for a neutral and independent medical expertise to assess the state of health of Ali Bongo Ondimba’s cognitive abilities. Today, the situation is the same as that experienced with the divestiture of President Akoli. But we will continue. It’s only one step. We have no choice but to continue to strike at this system and their iniquitous decision. So that one day we can change this system from the inside out in every way we can,’‘ Nguema said.

The magistrates are on holiday and it is not certain how this legal tussle will end. Bongo 60, suffered stroke while attending a conference in Saudi Arabia. He has since returned to Gabon after spending more than five months abroad to recover.

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