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Arrested Anglophone leaders fail to appear in court as case suffers another adjournment

The arrested Anglophone leaders led by Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, on Thursday, October 11, 2018, failed to appear before the Mfoundi Court of Appeal for the second time.

Lawyers representing the arrested leaders were however at the Court, seating in Yaoundé for a Habeas Corpus case filed for their clients to be released unconditionally.

However, to their greatest surprise, their clients were not brought to court again.

Speaking to the press, one of Counsels for the detainees, Barrister Fru John said: “the Director of SED (Gendarmerie Headquarters) said, the reason why Anglophone leaders were not presented at Mfoundi Appeal Court today was because he was not served a notice to release them to be presented in court. So, the Judge decided to postponed the trial to November 1,”.

The dissatisfied lawyer expressed fear about the safety of his clients. He said for about two weeks now, family members have not been permitted to visit them and even they (Lawyers) have not also been granted access to their clients.

The Barrister has urged the State to show proof of life by presenting Sisiku and co-accused in public.

Sisiku and 12 other Ambazonian leaders were arrested on January 5, at the Nera Hotel in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon alongside other Ambazonians arrested in Taraba State.

However, since then they have not been seen in public, not even the team of defence lawyers representing them. After some months, they were allowed some limited visits by family members, once a week but for about two weeks now, family members who show up for visits have been turned down by security officers who say they have not received permission to let them in.

As of now, no explanation has been advanced by the Magistrates why they failed to request for the presence of the Anglophone leaders to appear in court.

On August 30, Sisiku and co were supposed to appear in court for a Habeas Corpus case filed by their lawyers praying the court to immediately release them for illegal detention by the State. They were not brought to court by the Gendarmes and the case was dismissed. This Thursday, the Lawyers were on appeal trying to seek their release, but since they failed to appear in court the Judge adjourned the case to November 1.

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