Yaoundé (National Times)The case pitting the State of Cameroon against 10 Ambazonia leaders arrested in Nigeria and transferred to Cameroon has been postponed to February 7, 2019, to proof their nationalities.
The case which started about two hours late was delayed as a new Magistrate; Colonel Mem Michel, was assigned the case in the place of the President of the Yaoundé Military Tribunal, Colonel Eko Eko, who had previously been in charge of the case.
This took proceedings back to the initial stage as the new Magistrate started with identification proceedings. Thereafter, the defence team of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his co-accused raised an objection at prelimilimini requiring the court to determine the nationalities of the accused before proceeding with the case.
It was at this point that the defence team of the Ambazonia leaders declared that their clients are citizens of former British Southern Cameroons with some holding Nigerian nationality, while others are in the process of seeking asylum in Nigeria. They then went further to pray the court to dismiss the case since the court does not have the mandate to entertain such a case.
According to them, their clients should be transferred back to Nigeria, where they were “abducted.”
Speaking to the press after the case was adjourned, the Lead Counsel for the Ambazonia leaders, Barrister Fru John Nsoh, made the following declaration; “they are not Cameroonians, they are citizens of former British Southern Cameroons what is called Ambazonia today.”
On his part the State Prosecutor argued that the Defence Counsel cannot base their case on the nationality question because the nationality they claim does not exist.
“It doesn’t exist Ambazonia, it is for them to proof that they are not Cameroonians,” he said.
With this deadlock at first instance, the presiding Judge adjourned the case to February 7, enough time for the Defence Counsel to gather facts and proof that their clients are not Cameroonians and for the State Prosecutor to gather evidential documents proofing that the said persons are actually Cameroonians.
The case was adjourned in the early hours of the night after being witnessed by family members, sympathizers and friends who had travelled from home and abroad. The defence team was also made up of national and international Lawyers.