Court hearing on fitness of Gabon’s Bongo fails to take place


Libreville (AFP) – A gathering of the Court docket of Appeals of Gabon to listen to a petition on the power of President Ali Bongo Ondimba to control after struggling a stroke didn’t happen on Monday as scheduled, legal professionals stated.

The legal professionals who got here to the courtroom found that every one the hearings had been postponed till subsequent Monday as a result of "the variety of judges is inadequate," stated lawyer Anges Kevin Nzigou, who represents one of many petitioners.

Days earlier than the enchantment, the president of the courtroom had been suspended for permitting Bongo's petition to proceed.

Bongo's well being is an acute political downside within the small and wealthy oil state of central Africa.

The 60-year-old head of state suffered a stroke final October whereas visiting Saudi Arabia.

Since then, he has made few appearances and has not but spoken dwell in public quite a lot of phrases made on his return to Libreville in March.

Ten members of the political opposition, civil society and the Gabon commerce union motion have filed a lawsuit requesting that Bongo be evaluated to see if he’s medically match to proceed in workplace.

A decrease courtroom dismissed the case in Could, saying that solely the 2 chambers of parliament, or the Constitutional Court docket performing on the request of the federal government, have been empowered to find out if the president was not match.

However on August 12, the Court docket of Appeals stated it might hear an enchantment from the plaintiffs and set a date for it: August 26.

Final week, the president of the courtroom, Paulette Akolly, was suspended for 2 months by the ministry of justice, which stated he had infringed a choice of the Court docket of Cassation, the supreme authority within the judicial system of Gabon that had been requested by Bongo's legal professionals. .

Bongo's lawyer, Tony Serge Minko Mi Ndong, stated Monday that "the Court docket of Appeals has resolved the scenario" and "the whole lot has returned accurately."

Delayed hearings for September 2 "not concern us," he stated.

In distinction, a marketing campaign group referred to as Appel a Agir (Name to Motion), which had launched the marketing campaign for a health evaluation, stated in a press release that the listening to was merely "postponed" and shouldn’t be affected by the Akolly suspension.

Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo, who turned head of state in 1967 and died in June 2009, leaving a legacy of accusations of corruption.

Final week, authorities ordered a two-month suspension within the accreditation of veteran Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalist Yves-Laurent Goma.

He had reported that Bongo had not been capable of greet the troops throughout the Independence Day ceremonies in Libreville on August 17.

Gabon's media regulator, the Excessive Communication Authority (HAC), stated his article used "inaccurate data with malicious insinuations … questioning the bodily integrity (of Bongo)", and that Bongo had elevated throughout the ceremony "at all times that was obligatory. "

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