By Eric Tataw – Monday February 25, 2019.
A case pitting ten (10) Anglophone pro-independence leaders and the Nigerian government has been postponed, Barrister Femi Falana, a Nigerian lawyer heading the case told National Telegraph early Monday, February 25, 2019.
The case was due to take place this Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the Federal High Court of Abuja but has been pushed to Friday, March 1, 2019, Falana told National Telegraph’s Editor-in-chief, Eric Tataw on telephone from his head office in Ikeja, a precinct in Lagos State of the West African country of Nigeria.
The Federal High Court of Abuja on Monday, January 21, 2019, held a session on the matter and adjourned it to Tuesday, February 26, 2019. Barrister Falana has however told National Telegraph the court has informed him of a postponement to March 1, citing the elections fever.
Nigeria is currently holding elections since Saturday, February 23, 2019, and violent clashes and several deaths have been recorded in several polling units where the incumbent, Muhammadu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is facing stiff resistance from Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Barrister Falana says it’s under this backdrop that the case has been postponed. The Lawyers are demanding the Nigerian Government to pay compensation amounting to more than One Hundred Million Naira (₦100. 000.000) per person, stating that their clients’ rights were violated.
They’re being accused of fueling an armed conflict that has broken out in Cameroon. They’ve all denounced their Cameroonian Nationality, insisting they’re of Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia, a self-proclaimed new nation.
Their lawyers in Nigeria are demanding through the Federal High Court of Abuja that the Nigerian government is instructed according to the law to ask its Cameroonian counterpart to facilitate the return of the decad to Nigeria.
Barrister Falana said “We have made our submissions and we are expecting that Justice should be done”, he told National Telegraph, expecting the best in the upcoming case.
The legal mind also told National Telegraph that they have a petition pending before the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Banjul in the Gambia against the Cameroon government for colluding with Nigeria to have refugees and asylum seekers deported.
Another set of lawyers in Cameroon who are defending the decad from the Cameroon Government at the country’s military court in the capital city of Yaoundé on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 during a hearing, submitted documents from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), corroborating the defendants are refugees and asylum seekers.
The legal team in Nigeria is also expected to use these documents as a strong card of their submission. The cases are not unconnected to an armed conflict that is said to be deepening in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon with Anglophone militias battling pro-regime soldiers as they aim to uphold a new country; Ambazonia.
Ambazonia is an outlawed country in which the majority of its residents; the English-speaking regions are seeking to restore what was formerly British Southern Cameroons. The Biya administration has blamed the insurgency on Sisiku and others, charging them with terrorism-related crimes.