<Dr. Michael Akomaye Yanou, a practicing advocate and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Buea in Cameroon, has published a book entitled Labour Law Principles and Practice in Cameroon. The book which is over 200 pages long is the first of its kind to be published in the English Language in Cameroon, a country where French and English are both used as official languages.>
The author chose the University of Buea as the venue for showcasing the book to the public, a decision which is supported not only by the fact that that is where he teaches law, but because out of the eight state universities in the country, Buea is the one that was conceived and is run in the purely Anglo/Saxon tradition.Perhaps the figure 8 has a special significance here because the date the author chose for the activity was the 8th of December 2009.
Among those who turned out to support him at the launch in the sumptuous Amphi 250 were the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea, Professor Vincent P.K. Titanji, Former Vice Chancellor Professor Cornelius Mbifung Lambi and the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Dr. Martha Tumnde née Njikam.
Dignitaries from outside of the University included Kama James Shona, General Manager of the company, Ashuka, which does maritime transport, Buea Appeal Court Vice President Justice Mbeng Martin, Fako High Court President Justice Nkengla Joseph, and Human Rights Activist Tanyi Tiku. The Nigerian Consul General in Buea was represented.
The blurb of the book describes it as an exhaustive review that matches analysis of principles with basic procedures of labour law. According to the same source, «the author draws from solid academic research as well as a wide ranging experience in legal practice in Cameroon and Nigeria to present a coherent and practical elaboration of the topics covered in the book».
The reviewer at the launch was none other than Barrister Tumnde Peter who for years served as professional godfather to the author, and therefore knew him well. Barrister Tumnde is incidentally husband to the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Dr Tumnde Martha nee Njikam, who is herself a jurist, having once headed the Department of Law of the university.
Drawing heavily from his over thirty years in legal practice, Barrister Tumnde praised Dr. Yanou for a job well done. He called the work a «direct response to the gaping need we’ve had in labour law here«. He recalled that before the publication of the book, works on Labour law in the Queens language only came from abroad, yet although they bore similarities with the case of Cameroon, these similarities were sometimes deceptive. He was happy that in Dr. Yanou s book, discussions are authoritative and drawn from Cameroonian law and continental law. He challenged those who can do so, to translate the book into French so that it can be accessible to Francophone colleagues. He expressed the hope that «people like Yanou will make the Supreme Court sit up. »
The Head of the Department of Law, Dr Jonie Fonyam Banyong lauded Dr Yanou for the brilliant piece of job he had done and urged learned colleagues to help the author «do it again.|» To the author he said he knew he could and should perform another hat trick.
Describing the book as a piece of awareness creation, the author said he wrote it as a result of a challenge he faced in the field. «Law should be about justice for a dismissed man and not just the money he is given on being dismissed», he said.
The kick off for the launch proper was taken by Ashuka transportation boss Kama James Shona with the sum of one million FCFA. The Vice Chancellor Professor Titanji came in with 50 000 FCFA, Justice Nkengla with 20 000 FCFA, the Nigerian Consulate s representative with 300 000 FCFA and Human Rights Activist Tanyi Tiku with 25 000 FCFA. Numerous other invitees including colleagues and students of Dr Yanou purchased copies.
The foreword of the book is written by Professor Ephraim Ngwafor a renowned law don, former university rector and former cabinet minister, and the preface by Fonkwe Joseph Fongang who is a Supreme Court Judge.
If there are any criticisms to be made about the book, they concern the form rather than the substance, in other words the lay out and presentation of the work. For a book of such significance, an index at the back would have been quite useful in pointing the way and guiding the reader. Secondly, the publisher’s details and copyright text are tucked away at the bottom of the acknowledgments page which follows the preface, instead of being displayed in the front pages as is the custom in publishing. The book has no illustrations such as photographs, diagrams, tables, graphs or charts which would have brightened up the pages. Otherwise, the book is worth its weight in gold. It should be bought not only by legal practitioners and jurists but just anyone and everyone.
Dr Yanou holds a PhD in Law from Rhodes University in the Republic of South Africa where he has gone down in records as the first candidate to obtain the PhD in this field within only two years. He is a one time winner of the Visiting Research Fellowship of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Dr Yanou has been called to the Bar of Cameroon and Nigeria and has published extensively in local and international journals.
<For further details, contact Barrister and Advocate,Dr Michael Yanou at: Yanou and Partners, Biaka Street, Upper Bonduma, P.O. Box 164, Buea, South West Region, Republic of Cameroon. Tel (237) 7541 7755 or (237) 77569476 or (237) 3307 6956 and Email