No Headway In ‘Ambazonia’ Leaders’ Trial 38 Days After Abuja Court Ruling

Yaounde (National Times)-Cameroon’s separatists’ leaders are back in court at the Yaounde military tribunal this Monday April 8th. The case continues without any interruptions 38 days after a ruling of the Abuja High Court on March 1st this year asking for the accused leaders to be sent back to Nigeria and compensated.

Hearing resumes today after the dramatic incidents of March 29th. During that session, one of the separatists’ leaders Barrister Elias Eyambe Ebai suffered a malaise. Judges at the military court adjourned the matter to today on grounds that, the case could not advance in Eyambe’s absence.

Over a month since the ruling from the Nigerian court, the excitement it brought to supporters of the detained separatists’ leaders has weaned. The states of Cameroon and Nigeria have not made any moves. At the level of the military court, there is yet to be any noticeable advancement in the trial.The case has seen a series of adjournments.

Counsels for accused disagreed during the last hearing with the new judge who insisted on pressing on with the 12 count charge against Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and co. The counts were read and retained against the separatists’ leaders but their counsels had obliged them to remain silent.

Lawyers of the separatists’ leaders are banking on a plea entered at the level of the Appeal Court for the recusal of the former panel handling the case before the matter can continue.

At some point during that trial, the defense counsels stormed out of court as the military judge insisted on pressing on with the matter. Hours after the stalemate, the president of the court returned and announced an adjournment.

In reaction to the Abuja ruling, Cameroonian born Chief Charles Achaleke Taku, president of the ICC Bar Association wrote demaing actions from leaders of the continent.

” Africa and African leaders  should  hail the judgment  of the Federal High Court  of Abuja in Nigeria and pressurise Nigeria and Cameroon to execute it without delay. The judgment protects the municipal and  international protection of refugees afforded by multilateral  and municipal constitutional provisions.”. Taku wrote

Cameroonians remain in wait to follow developments of the matter this Monday as the armed-conflict in the North West and South West Regions drags on. Many believe only political actions will end the crisis.


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