WE ARE AMBAZONIANS AND NOT CAMEROONIANS, SISIKU TABE AYUK AND CO REITERATED THEIR NATIONALITY…READ ON
he refugee status of the leaders of “Ambazonia” was debated Thursday during the hearing held at the Military Court of Yaounde.
Julius Ayuk Tabe, Nfor Ngala Nfor, Tassang Wilfried Fombang, Henry Kimeng, Cornelius Njikimbi Kwanga, Fidelis Che, Che Augustine Awasum, Egbe Ogork, Eyambe Elias and Shufai Blaise Sevidzem, were in front of the bar on Thursday as part of the lawsuit against State of Cameroon for their roles in the creation of “Ambazonia”. Which state, if it were to exist, would cover the North-West and South-West regions, in rebellion against the Yaounde regime since 2016.
They should have been informed of the charges against them on Thursday. Either: apology for terrorism, financing acts of terrorism, complicity in acts of terrorism, secession, insurrection, revolution, hostility against the fatherland, armed gang, propagation of false news, undermining the internal and external security of the State, defect National Identity Card. An objection by their counsel prevented the Court from taking up this task.
The council of lawyers-among whom are the former bâtonnieres Akere Muna and Bernard Muna; Mr. Abison, Mr. Emmanuel Simh, Mr. Fru John Soh, Mr. Christopher Dong and the Nigerian Orock Abdoul-were opposed to the proclamation of the charges while there remains a blur on the nationality of the leaders “Ambazoniens”.
Refugees from the United Nations
Reference is made to the controversy aroused by Julius Ayuk Tabe and his companions at the first hearing held on December 6, 2018. They had denied their nationality Cameroon, declaring themselves citizens of “Ambazonia”. A position they also reiterated Thursday.
The claim of belonging to “Ambazonia”, which then made the crowd present at the hearing and infuriated Judge Abeaga Mbezoa wife Eko Eko, clearly emerged yesterday as a defense strategy. The defense has seized it to question the competence of the Military Court of Yaoundé to judge those people who, she argues, have the right to choose the nationality of their convenience.
“We are asking the Court to take necessary measures so that they are brought back to Nigeria where they were arrested so that their nationality is established there,” defends Emmanuel Simh.
In detail, the defense requests this military court to declare itself incompetent to judge cases of nationality and to remit the case to the civil courts of Nigeria where the accused were arrested on January 5, 2018. It also relies on the refugee status claimed by some of the defendants. According to the defense lawyers, these people were identified in Nigeria as nationals of “Ambazonia” and it is as such that refugee cards were established.
“While waiting to determine their nationality, from Nigeria, the Court should consider these people as refugees from the United Nations and bring them back to their places of residence to be judged,” says the president of the Bar Association Akere Muna.
Ayuk Tabe and his companions are Cameroonians! thus declared the Commissioner of the Government [name given to the prosecutor in a military jurisdiction, Editor’s note], Thadée Engono, in response to the objection of the other party. He presented copies of the identification documents of the accused persons concerned: National identity card and passports. All attest that these separatist leaders are Cameroonians.
“The solution in this case is not the prosecution of the accused. The solution is that the judge suspends this procedure until the defendants bring proof of their foreign nationality. Suppose even that the defendants prove that they are foreigners or refugees, the jurisdiction to seize can not be found in Nigeria, but in Ambozonia of which they claim to be nationals, “said Mr. Hachette Martin Luther King, representative of the civil party.
Both parties will have to provide the material evidence to support their case. These documents will have to be presented at the next hearing on February 7th.