At belated oath taking ceremony: Constitutional Council member, Arrey Florence, urged to serve objectively.

Arrey Florence Rita: Member of Constitutional Council

The lone female member of the Constitutional Council, Justice Arrey Florence Rita, who failed to take the oath of office last April 2, 2024, has been sworn into office with a call for her to perform her duties in accordance with the constitution.

The call for her to serve Cameroonians fairly and objectively was made by the President of the Congress of Parliament, Rt Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djribil.

This was during a session of the Congress of Parliament in Yaounde Tuesday. 

The ceremony, which grouped Senators and Members of the National Assembly, was also attended by members of government, led by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute. 

The mandate of Justice Arrey Florence Rita as Constitutional Council member, it should be recalled, was renewed for six years, through a Presidential Decree signed last January 18, 2024. 

In his address while chairing the Congress of Parliament, Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djribril reminded Justice Arrey Florence of her strategic role in enhancing democracy and the rule of law in the country. 

He urged Justice Arrey Florence to ensure the regularity of Parliamentary and Legislative elections, the ruling of matters within her jurisdiction and handling of matters that deal with the constitutionality of laws.

Cavaye urged her to uphold the confidentiality of deliberations and voting, not to take any public stance and to provide consultations on matters among others. 

The President of the Congress described Justice Arrey Florence as a judicial icon, enjoining her to work with the other members who took the oath of office last April 2, to foster development in the country.

Born in 1948 in Mamfe, Justice Arrey Florence Rita studied in the Queen of the Holy Rosary College Okoyong and the Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology, CCAST, Bambili.

She furthered her education in the University of Lagos-Nigeria, where she obtained a degree in Law (LLB Hons), and the University of London in the Advanced Institute for Legal Studies, where she obtained a Diploma in Legal Drafting and a Certificate in International Law. 

Justice Arrey Florence also attended the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM, where she obtained a Diploma in Magistracy. 

The superscale magistrate was the first female to be appointed State Counsel and President of the Court of Appeal in Cameroon.

She also served as Advocate General of the Court of Appeal, Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Judge of the High Court. She was the first woman to be appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal, served as Judge of the Supreme Court of Cameroon and gave landmark judgments on the rights of women and the girl child on ownership of property and the right to succession in Cameroon. She also served as Director of Judicial Professions in the Ministry of Justice. 

Internationally, she served as Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda, with rank of Under Secretary General by the General Assembly of the United Nations. She equally served as Judge of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. 

Justice Arrey Florence is member of the International Association of Women Judges, Common Law Magistrates and Judges Association, Society for the Reform of Criminal Law and Cameroon Association of Women Judges. 



Other members of the Council 

Last April 2, 2024, eight members who had been serving since February 7, 2018, took the oath of office. Their mandates were renewed by the Head of State on January 18, 2024.

Two members, Prof Adolphe Minkoa She and Prof Logmo Mbelek Aaron, were appointed same day to replace deceased members, Prof Joseph Owona and Joseph Marie Bipoum. 

The other members of the Council include its president, Clement Atangana, Bonde Emmanuel, Essombe Emile, Prof Paul Nchoji Nkwi, Baskouda Jean Baptiste, Bah Oumarou Sanda, Lekene Donfack Charles Etienne and Ahmadou Tidjani.




The story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No:3157 of Wednesday July 3, 2024


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