There was drama this Thursday, August 30, 2018 at the Mfoundi High Court in Yaoundé where Ambazonia leaders led by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe had to appear before the Judge for the Habeas Corpus case filed by a team of Defence Lawyers. But the leaders failed to appear before the Court.
The case, which started hours after scheduled, was filed by Barristers Fru John Nsoh, Ndong Christopher and Larry Paddy on behalf of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and 47 others who were arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon.
The Lawyers were praying the court to release them for illegal arrest and detention.
At the Court, the Defence Lawyers hired by the family realised that the State had also appointed three other Lawyers to defend their clients and it is these Lawyers who have access to Sisiku and co and not them.
This ensured that documents for the case were not duly signed by all parties involved. The Defence team hired by the family also prayed the Court to present their clients which they have not seen. In the midst of this confusion, the case was thrown out.
It was a frustrated team of Lawyers headed by Barrister Fru John, which left the courtroom this Thursday and they would not hide their feelings to the press.
The Lawyers said they cannot tell why their clients are not in Court as it’s the case in every legal battle. “There was a lot of mafia in Court today. I can’t tell why our clients were not brought in by the gendarmes at SED,” a Lawyer defending Sisiku and co-accused lamented.
They however said given the manner in which the State of Cameroon operates wherein the judiciary is commanded by the executive, they were not surprised with the outcome of Thursday’s decision. However, they promised to continue the battle until their clients get justice. “I am not surprised, I saw this coming…but we are not giving up,” a Lawyer said.
According to Barrister Fru John, it is out of place to defend clients that you have not seen or talk to. “How can you defend your clients when you have no chance to talk to them,” he asked.
Security was tight at today’s hearing and there was a mammoth crowd including Journalists who had come to get the first rare glimpse of the Ambazonian leaders who had not been seen in public since January 5, when they were arrested in Nigeria and later on extradited to Cameroon.
This has again cast doubts on their whereabouts and the state of their health even though Government has always argued that they are in Yaoundé and in good health. Ambazonia fighters and activists had also challenged the State of Cameroon to show proof of their existence by presenting them to the public. However, today’s opportunity to break the myth has been missed.