The detained separatist leaders today rejectted their Cameroonian nationality at the Yaounde military tribunal as their case opened on Thursday December 6.
Appearing before the President of the military tribunal for the first time in public, the ten accused all turned down the Cameroonian nationality when their names and nationalities were read out.
Their leader Julius Ayuk Tabe set the ball rolling when he stood in the accused box but the magistrate could not find any nationality against his name.
Then stepped Nfor Ngala Nfor, who rejected the Cameroonian nationality read against his name and stressed that he is a Southern Cameroonian.
“That country does not yet exist,” the President of the court, Col. Abega Mbezoa epse Eko Eko was quick to hit back but this did not dissuade the other detainees from rejectting the Cameroonian nationality.
This heated start to proceedings was a sign of things to come as the defense counsel composed of about 47 law firms held the court to task on the composition of the civil party as well as the submission of the list of witnesses by the State Prosecutor.
According to the defense counsel led by Barrister Fru John Nsoh, they only received the list of witnesses from the Prosecution on Wednesday December 5 at 17.39 in violation of article 414 of the Criminal Procedure Code which which warrants the prosecution to present the list of witnesses to the accused five days before hearing starts.
After objections and counter objections from both parties, the magistrate was oblige to suspend the hearing only to resume two hours later to finally adjourn the matter to January 10, 2019 to pass a verdict on the issue and open the case proper.
“We are not disappointed with the adjournment. We just had a technical ruling which said the case has not yet even opened,” Barrister Fru John Nsoh, lead counsel of the defence said.
Before the case came to a close, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho prayed the court to facilitate access of the lawyers to their clients as well as family members which was welcomed by the magistrate.
It should be noted that the charges were not brought before the ten accused today but the notice board of the court states that the accused are charged with secession, promoting secession, acts of terrorism, financing acts of terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, creation of armed groups, propagation of false information, undermining internal and external security of the state, non possession of national identification card.