By Eric Tataw – Thursday May 16, 2019.
Barrister Fru John Nsoh, lead defense lawyer for the leaders of the Anglophone Separatist Movement and one other member of his team, Barrister Paddy Yong have held a meeting with all ten of their clients, National Telegraph has been told.
According to sources, Barristers Fru and Paddy met with their clients Wednesday May 15, 2019 and during the meeting that lasted a few hours inside the Kondengui Principal Prison, a high security detention facility in Cameroon’s capital, another decision to boycott Friday’s court session was reached.
The Ambazonia leaders were due to appear at the Yaounde Military Court, Friday May 17, 2019 but their lawyers say they would continuously boycott the military court until the Court of Appeal of the Center hears a pending matter on the lack of jurisdiction of the military court to try their clients.
Barrister Fru who also spoke to National Telegraph said the Prison Administrators are violating the rights of their clients, adding that access to visitors has been restricted. Barrister however noted that their clients are in high spirit.
“On Tuesday May 14, 2019, all visitors with plenty of foodstuff; cooked and uncooked with other items destined for our clients were barred from accessing them”, parts of a document dated Wednesday May 15, 2019, signed by the head of the Communication and Media Committee of the ten detained Anglophone leaders said.
While the legal team sounded the alarm that Prison Administrators are conniving with officials at the military tribunal to restrict access to their clients, it urged authorities to abide by the Cameroon Constitution, the Cameroon Criminal Procedure Code, the UN Standard on Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners, among others
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius and eleven others were arrested in Nera, a hotel in Abuja, Nigeria on Friday, January 5, 2018. Ten of them would later be extradited to Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital, an act that has been described as a bootleg.
They’re being accused of fueling an armed conflict that has broken out in the two English-speaking regions. They’ve all denounced their Cameroonian Nationality, insisting that they’re of Southern Cameroons aka Ambazonia, a self-proclaimed new nation.
Unrest in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions began in October 2016 as a disagreement in language but government mismanaged it, turning it into an armed conflict with a demand by majority of Anglophones in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia.