Yaoundé (National Times)-The Centre Court of Appeal seating in Yaoundé was on Thursday, November 1 transformed into a high security venue otherwise known as “green zone” as Ambazonia leaders make their first public appearance in 10 months.
The leaders were brought to court in a 30-seater white coaster bus with tainted glasses, while other military vehicles accompanied it. Inside the bus where the Ambazonia leaders who were barred from any public view.
At the court premises, security was exceptionally reinforced with combat ready troops with war guns, wearing helmets and bullet proof vests positioned all-round the building and the bus in an intimidating manner.
This contingent of Gendarmes are a detachment of the special squad specially trained for anti-terrorist operations and high crime wave.
Members of the military secret services were also around the court premises monitoring all movements in and around the court, making sure nobody was standing around the fence and at the entrance into the building.
These men would approach everybody they suspected of loitering around and made sure they leave the premises. With the intention of making sure the place is not crowded, they gave wrong information to those who were interested in the case, telling them that the leaders did not appear in court and the matter has already been heard.
As this reporter walked around the premises, a secret service agent approached him and in polite manner asked in French what he (security officer in disguise) can offer the reporter.
When the reporter made his intention of covering the case of the detained Anglophone Lawyers, the security officer said, “the matter has already been heard and the leaders were not in court, but you are not allowed to stand here, you have to go down there,” he said pointing to a direction where I would not be able to get a glimpse of the detainees or atmosphere in the court room and premise.
The main aim was to make sure there was little coverage and crowd gathering since these figures have become mythical personalities that millions of Anglophones want to get a glimpse of their being.
It was also to stop any body from taking pictures or videos as cameras and phones were banned. You could, if possible only see them, but not take a photo. Moreover, the bus that ferried them to the courtroom was driven so closed to the building to the extent that even the benevolent sunlight would be unable to grace their skin. As we wait for November 15 for another hearing, it would be another challenging moment with the muscular security apparatus set up by the State.