30 August, 2018
A court in Yaounde has rejected a motion filed in by lawyers for the immediate release of the separatist leaders arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon in January.
Lawyers for the defence counsel of Sissiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and others said they wanted the court to release their clients unconditionally describing their arrest and extradition as illegal.
The Habeas Corpus expected to take place at the Chambers of the Magistrate of the Mfoundi High Court at 10am on Thursday played out to a cat and mouse game.
The defence Counsel, led by Barrister Fru John Nsoh who said they have been denied accces to their clients were left in the dark as to their appearance in court.
After hours of waiting, the lawyers finally met the Magistrate just to be told other three lawyers who were chosen by the government to constitute the defence team had filed a discontinuance of the process.
“It was required that (the Habeas Corpus) was supposed to be before the judge and all the ten people (Ambazonian leaders) were supposed to be before the judge and nobody came,” Barrister Fru John Nsoh said.
“They didn’t take the time to bring them so that is a fatal error (because) they were not even supposed to open the file. They were just supposed to adjourn the file so that we can have the opportunity to bring them, they can have the opportunity to bring them.They went ahead and said that the other three lawyers who were chosen by government and imposed on the accused persons in SED(gendarmerie headquarters) had filed a discontinuance in this matter when they were not supposed (because) I am the senior counsel,”Barrister Nsoh expressed his disappointment.
He stressed he is the only person qualified to file a motion to discontinue the process and vowed to appeal the judge’s decision to throw their plea.
The habeas corpus hearing was supposed to come up today, exactly one year after Presidential clemency which freed persons detained in connection to the Anglophone crisis notably Felix Agbor Nkongho, Fontem Neba and Ayah Paul Abine.