Cameroon’s separatist leaders could be granted bail on November 15 when the Appeal Court in Yaounde will pass a ruling on the Habeas Corpus motion filed in by their lawyers, family members and layers have expressed optimism.
Lawyers and family members were rather hopeful on Thursday November 1 after almost two hours of hearing at the magistrate’s chamber where the detained leaders were presented for the first time.
Immediately after the session, lead counsel for the defence Barrister Fru John Nsoh said it was a great day and great success to have seen all the detainees appear in court after incessant pressure and hopd it was a sign of things to come.
“We did everything to make sure (the ambazonia leaders) are here today. It has been a long battle…at the High Court they just didn’t allow us to bring them but at the Court of Appeal, after three or four adjournments has insisted with the production warrant and we followed up to make sure it was executed and they were in court,”Barrister Fru John Nsoh said.
The separatist leaders were rather smiling and in buoyant mood as they left the magistrate’s chambers to the 32-gendarmerie bus stationed at the court yard waiting to take them back to their detention cells.
Barrister Nsoh said their mood was a result of the opportunity given them to tell their story in court and this gave them hope.
“(They were in buoyant mood) because they had the opportunity to tell their story. They have never told their story to anybody, they have never appeared in any court since they were arrested in Nigeria so this is the first opportunity for them to tell their story infront of a court,” Barrister Nsoh said.
“It is the best day of my life as a lawyer, it is the best day for them as accused persons to be heard before the Court of Appeal,”Barrister Nsoh added.
The optimism shown by the lawyers was equally visible in the faces of family members whose anxiety after waiting for long hours had given place for hope after seeing the detained leaders.
“I am very happy for what has happened today as I came purposely to see if they were alive so that I could go back and tell family members and beg the population to work for peace and their release so that we can seek a lasting solution to the crisis,”a family member of the Ambazonia leader Julius Ayuk Tabe who preferred anonymity said.
Another family member, Kwanga Prudence said she was delighted to have seen her brother (Dr. Kwanga Cornelius) for the first time since he was arrested with the others on January 5 in Nigeria.
“We are very happy and hope that the ruling on November 15 will be in their favour because they are not thieves nor have they killed any person so hope for a swift decision because people keep dying on a daily basis as a result of this crisis,”she said.