The trial of the leaders of the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, has been adjourned to April 27.
The second day of hearing of the case pitting the government of Cameroon against leaders of the ongoing protests in English-speaking Cameroon opened at the Military Tribunal in Yaounde in the afternoon, March 23.
It went on in the presence of leaders of political parties including John Fru Ndi, of the SDF, Kah Wallah of the CPP, and Maurice Kamto of the MRC who is currently part of the numerous lawyers defending the accused. The trio, including Barrister Jean de Dieu Momo of PADDEC are the few politicians who have openly declared that the arrests of protesters in English speaking Cameroon constitute an infringement on human rights.
During the court session, Rose Onana Mangoum Deffo, the ‘commissaire du gouvernement’ proposed that the trails of the individuals arrested in relation to the on-going protest should be merged into one. This meant 24protesters detained in the Yaounde Central Prison would be tried alongside the protest leaders, Barrister Felix Agbor ‘Balla’ Kongho, Dr. Fontem Neba of the Consortium, Mancho Bibixy and some teachers who were arrested in Bamenda and brought to Yaounde, including ‘Senator’ Penn Kahn.
The defence counsel rejected the proposal. They insisted that for trials to be merged, suspects should be accused of committing a crime at the same place at the same time. The counsel led by Ben Muna and some prominent lawyers such as Barrister Eta Bisong Jr and former Bar Council Presidents, said the ongoing trials due not meet the criteria. They argued the accused were arrested in different towns including Bamenda, Buea, Kumba, Douala and even Yaounde.
To the rejection, Laow Magueritte Adelo Abega, President of the tribunal decided to adjourn the case to April 27. She also decided it shall be declared on April 7, whether or not the trials will be merged into one.