Saturday, January 3, 2009


This work is a narrative based on a true event. It describes a case of corruption and how a civil servant went beyond the freemasonry of his employ to redeem a victim of circumstance. Names of persons and places hereinafter mentioned are fictitious as all dates and figures relating to legal tenders and suit numbers. The original stretches of the story line has been presented unabridged though duly condensed. However, any resemblance to persons of real statuses must necessarily be considered as sheer coincidence. Jerry Manga Williams, Limbe, 25 November 2005


I shall not pretend to consider it any matter for wonder that the ordinary case, so to speak, of Mr. Tilfri excited discussion at my employ. It would have been a normalcy had it not especially under the circumstance.
In spite of the desire of all the parties to keep the affair from the public, at least for the present, I was as erstwhile desirous to elect a breach of such an endeavour and render necessary the facts to everyone as far as I comprehend them myself.

My attention for the past several years as a president of the High Court of N_ _ _L had been repeatedly drawn to the subject of corruption; and just about a few months ago, it quite suddenly occurred to me following campaigns on the subject by the office of the Prime Ministry that in the series of experiences prevailing hitherto, there had been a remarkable omission. No person had as yet been so stringent in requesting receipts of unaccountable services contracted with officials in my jurisprudence, yet there availed of rumours galore on the matter. There were other points to ascertain this but this most excited my curiosity.

So when I received the hereunder-subjoined carbon copy of a correspondence addressed to my colleague, the Registrar in Chief, Mr. Samtu from Mr. Tilfri himself, I knew I had arrived at the subject by whose means I might test the immensely important character of its consequence. The letter reads:

“Mr. Tilfri N.
Avenue Saint Hall
P.O. Box 000
Province of XXX
4th February 2005
The Registrar in Chief
N _ _ _L High Court
Province of XXX



Mindful of my previous correspondences to you regarding the facts subsequent to the prayer to give notice of appeal for the unwarranted decision and order in suit No. HCN/2/05, I am vexed and disgruntled by your facetious character on this matter and I fail to understand why you are treating me in this discourteous manner.
Following the judgment of the above mention suit and under the directives of my counsel, Mr. Jomoh, I had expressed the desire to have it typed in order to proceed to move the court for an appeal.
You had fixed a charge of 50.000 FCFA to process the draft judgment which I’d paid before the deadline of 31st January 2005.
Reasons as various as they have been beyond the province of any fault of mine were forwarded by the assigned clerks justifying the belated document which consequently cost me dear of an exclusive penalty that stopped at 230.000 FCFA.
Upon the payment of the latter, I had asked you for the receipt of both customs (i.e. the fifty thousand francs -50.000 FCFA- as per 21st February 2005) and two Hundred and Thirty Thousand francs -230.000 FCFA- as per 2nd February 2005.
Rather you had obliged me to get the receipt from the taxation office to which I had acquiesced but rather received a receipt of Twenty seven (27.000) FCFA instead.
You had duly intercepted another correspondence from me wherein I immediately drew your attention to the unsatisfactory receipt I acknowledged. Yet another bout of oral responses has rather been acquitted by you, supplying more weird reactions of your person to me.
I am hereby conveying another letter for you to tell me who has got my balance of 203.00 FCFA. I urge you to do so in writing and not orally.


Tilfri N

- The President, N _ _ _L High Court
- The Magistrate, Court of First Instance, N_ _ _L
- Barrister Jomoh, Jomoh Law Firm, N _ _ L”

Within a couple of hours after this note was received, I convened an ad-hoc conference between the Registrar in Chief, Mr. Samtu and myself. I drew inference from the locus of discussion – the letter to which he immediately acceded to my desire that he should provide the 2 previous correspondences of Mr. Tilfi into which that what I had subjoined is for the most part either condensed or copied verbatim.

I urged him to state as distinctly as he could the reasons for the recriminations he and Mr. Tilfri had acquitted themselves brilliantly of. Whilst he spoke, I commenced the passes which I had already found most effectual in perceiving the moral values inherent in officials – I beg to draw the attention of your person that the relationship I have with that who spoke in his capacity as the Registrar in Chief is that of cooperation and not subordination – reason why his inclination to inhibit every bit of the truth regarding the expended charges by Mr. Tilfri were quite legitimate. Mr. Samtu barely had time to reckon the account of the event leading to the proceeding charges otherwise a generous oral expenditure on the misdemeanour and impropriety of Mr. Tilfri regarding the latter’s relation with his general staff and himself were delivered. According to him, Mr. Tilfri possessed no right to question his incumbency. He had the mandate to elect any rule that should discourage defaulters from exceeding the appropriate period to process their draft judgments. Mr. Tilfri, he said was archetypal to this offense including the lack of reverence to everyone else.

Although I exerted all my powers evident to subdue him to defer to my opinion against malfeasance as a result of indignation at litigants’ discourteousness, Mr. Samtu opposed the objections but beseeched me as it seemed to be oblivious.

At the expiration of an interval of a month, I was honoured with a visit from Mr. Tilfri at my office. He asked that it was ill advised to disturb me upon a busy morning but it behooved him to tell me of a preoccupation that was killing him inaudibly. He moved me along his correspondences to the Registrar in Chief Mr. Samtu and imbued me with the facts which I have herein above presented. Mr. Tilfri who elects residence principally in the neighbourhood of N _ _ L, is particularly noticeable for the extreme eminence of his person – his height much in violent contrast to that of everyone else present in the yard, stopping somewhere around 1.80m. His voice much resembling the characteristic of a higher social class baron to which I am sure he could have dreamt of belonging on several occasions. Perhaps it was the grandeur of his height that compelled his audacity and brevity. Having arraigned the neighbour to court for squatting in his own parcel of land endorsed with a title deed and conveyed by his deceased uncle, he believed the ruling was apparently erratic. That in failing to employ the most current rules in tenure, the presiding magistrate arrived at an erroneous conclusion; which inherently had been worked up between the defendant and the presiding judge. As a traditional ploy to discourage further indulgence to litigation, it was then the turn of the Registrar in Chief to injure his steadfastness. He grumbled that a conspiracy was developed to provoke a delay. But he was steadfast in seeing the consequence of this admitting that justice must reign in especial in a court which is subscribed to harbour it. I had asked him to execute patience while I besought the Chief Registrar to concede to his inquiry.

With a heavy heart, I joined the Registrar again for yet another meeting regarding the indignation of Mr. Tilfri. Still Mr. Samtu and myself failed to entertain a consensus on the matter.
On account of the facts I assembled from the foregoing and evidences tendered from Mr. Tilfri as well as the intercourses in especial with Mr. Samtu, I was seized with chagrin and pity for Mr. Samtu and Mr. Tilfri respectively.

The rule of thumb to every business in conflict renders preference to the party who got the unfair deal than they who acquitted themselves advantageously or duplicitously of the other. In pursuance of such a precept of morality, three days subsequent to my meeting with Mr. Tilfri, I remitted the matter to the Anti Corruption Observatory Service of the Prime Ministry for appropriate actions to be meted upon Mr. Samtu on ground of corruption and malfeasance. Investigations were immediately launched and interestingly enough, legions of surging accusations emerged from several other quarters, implicating Mr. Samtu.

Mr. Tilfri on his part will get a new hearing due subsequently at the High court. His brevity and steadfastness to the pursuit of equity and other rights notwithstanding will yield him remarkable dividends, conceding all and sundry whereof, a compelling contagion of a conscientization on the one hand and on the other, a necessary adherence to the pro-forma of ethics in every vocation. Under the circumstance, any one so inflicted with the mentioned opportunities stands eligible to restrain corruption.

The end.

Jerry Williams

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