Loic Midrel Njeukam popular known as Shakiro and Mouthe Roland alias Patricia have pleaded not guilty to homosexuality allegations brought against them by the state prosecutor at the Bonanjo Court of First Instance in Douala Cameroon today, Monday, April 5, 2021.
The trial has been adjourned for Monday, April 12, 2021. The state party of the case is expected to make submissions showing proofs of their claim of homosexuality.
The two boys are being charged on three counts; homosexuality, indecency and non-possession of national identity cards.
In the trial that lasted for less than an hour, Barrister Alice Nkom, lead lawyer defending the accused says Loic Midrel and and Mouthe Roland were arrested “… while they were eating. To condemn someone of homosexuality, the court needs to show proves that they were caught in the act of same sex. This is not the case for my clients. They should be released”.
According to Barrister Tamfu Richard, one of the defense lawyers, they are disappointed with the several adjournments of a case he considered baseless and should be thrown out by the court.
“Material and mental elements are not available. They were not caught flagrant delito so it’s a waste of time in court.”
Human rights activists advocating for the rights of the two suspects to be respected say Loic and Roland frequentpy dressing as girls and women was mainly for publicity purposes and not homosexual intentions.
To the state prosecutor, Shakiro had in the past uploaded videos of himself on the social media declaring that internally he is a woman and has the right to behave as such, a claim Barrister Tamfu says cannot be taken into consideration as it is was contrary to section 310 of the penal code which states that judgement is based on evidence presented .
Nkwain Hamlet, a member of a human rights group called Working for Our Wellbeing says “let the government of Cameroon respect international treaties they signed to respect human rights”.
“Cameroon has signed engagements with financial houses like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to respect these rights and in return receive money to invest in Cameroon” he said.
To the human rights activists, the life style of a person should not be an object of arrest so far it does not infringe into the wellbeing of people in the community.
In Cameroon, homosexuality is forbidden by the law and punishable. Those found guilty of the act are sentenced to between six months and five years with fines to pay.