Africa-Press – Cameroun. Speaking at a joint press conference alongside Martin Mbarga Nguele, Delegate General for National Security, Atanga Nji warned that there is no point trying to escape after assaulting a police officer “because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout.”
Both officials used Friday’s joint press conference to denounce recent assaults on police officers on duty.
Atanga Nji observed that for quite some time now, the public in general and administrative authorities in particular have been decrying violence, sometimes physical, against police officers exercising their duties all over the national territory.
“This irresponsible behaviour towards the Police is inacceptable. It should be underscored that the Police is at the service of the population, and more specifically at the service of each and everyone,” he said.
Under the Very Esteemed Guidance of the Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA, represented by the Delegate General for National Security, the Territorial Administration Minister said the Cameroonian Police is a well-structured and well-organized corps, present at all levels of the Republic: Regions, Divisions and Subdivisions.
Day and night, they work relentlessly to ensure the security of
persons and their property, he said.
“In the event of any disagreement between a police officer and an individual, a complaint should be addressed to the Police hierarchy,” the Minister advised. “When the accusations against a police officer are founded, only the Police hierarchy is empowered to apply sanctions against the defaulting officer, in accordance with the internal regulations of the corps and
in line with the Laws in force.”
Therefore, he cautioned, no citizen or person, regardless of their social status, for whatsoever reason, has the right to assault a police officer on duty.
“That could be considered as jungle justice which we all know has no place in Cameroon,” said Atanga Nji. “Insulting or assaulting a police officer on duty or refusing to obey instructions is inacceptable. The Delegate General for National Security, here present, has always given a listening ear to alleged or founded excesses of Police officers. I would like to reiterate, once and for all, that the police uniform belongs to the State and not to the individual wearing it. Therefore, it has to be given due respect by all and sundry.”
“To publicly attack a police officer or any other security officer on duty shall hereafter be considered as a casus belli,” the Minister furthered.
He gave Regional Governors strict instructions on how to handle irresponsible persons who attack Police officers on duty.
“Such disrespectful and derogatory behaviours towards security officers shall be sanctioned accordingly, as provided for by the law,” the Minister thundered.
In this regard, Atanga Nji restated the provisions of Section 156 of Law No. 2016/007 of 12 July 2016 relating to the Penal Code, amended and suplemented by Law No. 2019/020 of 24 December 2019, for everyone to get abreast with.
SECTION 156: Assault on Public Servant (1) Whoever uses force on a public servant or otherwise interferes with him, shall be punished with imprisonment for from 1 (one) month to 3 (three) years and with fine of from CFAF 5 000 (five thousand) to CFAF 100 000 (one hundred thousand).
(2) Where the force or interference is premeditated, or where it results, intentionally or otherwise, in harm within the meaning of Sections 277 or 280 of this Code, the punishment shall be imprisonment for from five (05) to ten (10) years and fine of from CFAF20 000 (twenty thousand) to CFAF 500 000 (five hundred thousand).
(4) Where the force or interference results unintentionally in death, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life.
(5) Where the force or interference is intended to cause death, the punishment shall be death.
“Under the enlightened leadership of the Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA, Cameroon is a State of Law. Let us respect our laws. Let us respect our security forces who are there to protect us and our property,” said Atanga Nji.