Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chief S.M.L Endeley relinquishes life

The Paramount Chief of Buea, Chief Samuel Moka Lifafa Endeley, Ruler of the Bakweri people and district head of Buea since 1991 gives up the ghost. He leaves an undisputed legacy that played much in the construction of Cameroon's history

He was married to the late Gladys Silo Ramatou Endeley who died in March 2010. Their union produced five children, one of whom is prominent Crtv journalist, Ngomba Endeley
The celebration of his 90th birthday

Chief S.M.L Endeley could rightly lay claims to a plethora of attributes. It is therefore hard for me to mention all under the circumstances I am writing this piece. He was a paramount chief of the Bakweris. He was called home by his creator while serving in that distinguished capacity. He was a former Chief Justice of the Southern Cameroons (West Cameroon then). Prior to that, he was a chemist and most important, a distinguished lawyer and legal luminary. He so much valued his professional legal career to the extent that on retiring from the judiciary, he urged me in my capacity as the then representative of the President of the Bar Council for the South West to approach Hon. Andze Tchoungui who was then Minister of Justice to issue an order permitting him to resume his law practice with the seniority he attained when he was called to the Bar. I successfully promptly executed that mission. The ministerial correspondence attesting to this fact may be found by his family among his records.
The distinguished paramount chief and retired chief justice therefore has been called home to meet his ancestors and creator with the professional legal status in which he mesmerized and confounded colleagues and judges with startling wit and brilliance safely placed at the top of the mountain to guide generations unborn. I am so proud to have been the errand boy he chose to make him fulfil that enduring objective. On or about July 1, 1981, the Fon of Fontem dispatched a delegation of four chiefs to meet Chief Justice Endeley with an unusual request. He wanted traditional dancers he had sent from Bangwa to perform during my swearing in ceremony within the premises of the Court of Appeal in Buea. A distinguished prince himself then, therefore culturally sensitive, Chief Justice Endeley understood the significance of the unprecedented request. He obliged and on July 4, 1981, with full traditional honours, I became the first ever University of Yaounde trained student to be called to the bar in the South West Province as a pupil advocate in the law office of the Hon. B.T.B Foretia in Victoria. In my legal career, I appeared so many times before Chief Justice Endeley alongside legal giants like Fon Gorgi Dinka, B.T.B Foretia, M.N Weledji, E.E Ebai, F.W Atabong, A.T Enaw, N.T Tabe and P.D Koti. I was therefore a witness to and participant in some of the enduring legal principles enunciated by this legal colossus. They are too many to venture to enumerate. I hope that with the participation of the many lawyers, legal scholars, judges, universities, charities, corporations and the people of the Southern Cameroons for whom he dispensed justice and enunciated these priceless legal principles and jurisprudence a SML Endeley Memorial library will be established to preserve the works of this great man for posterity.
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