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Cameroon:hearings at Counstitutonal Council frustrate Anglophone detainees at military court

The Constitutional Council might have rounded off with the hearings of post-election litigations but the three-day session has had a strong impact on all corners of the national triangle.

Though the direct impact might be felt at the various political parties involved and their supporters as well as Cameroonians as a whole, even those who did not vote like inmates.

Most Anglophone detainees who appeared before the Yaounde military court on Friday October 19, for trial were left stranded as a result of the proceedings at the Constitutional Council which left lawyers exhausted.

The prompt arrival of the judge Justice Tang Ruben at the court room for what would have been a marathon day with close to fifty Anglophone detainees starring rather turned out to be a mere formality as he spent the day adjourning most of the cases to November 16.

First stepped up Fotabong Patrice Awoung, accused of Secession, hostility against the Fatherland and terrrorism, as he appeared for the 28th time in court. The Tsapi law firm charged with his defence was absent with the Constitutional Council hearings advanced as major argument. His case was simply adjourned.

Then followed Ngalim Felix Safeh, the longest-serving anglophone detainee since the crisis started.  He was appearing for the 49th time before the judge but had the same fate as the preceding detainee. His lawyer, Barrister Boniface Mbah Ndam had earlier indicated in an interview with journalducameroun.com that he would not be appearing in court due to the exertions of the Constitutional Council where he was part of Joshua Osih’s defence team.

However, it was not an easy task for the judge to adjourned his case and Ngalim staged a strong resistance, telling the judge he would not appear again before the Yaounde military tribunal if he is not transferred to Bamenda where he was arrested in 2016.

In a heated exchange with with the judge, Ngalim said a he can not be tried in a military court and to make matters worse, the prosecution has been unable to produce any witness against him for the past two years.

It was not enough to convince the judge who insisted the military court has the national competence to try civilians, before adjourning the case to November 16.

It was the same story  for Asah Patrick Dangoh, whose lawyer Benard Muna was still recovering from the Constitutional Council exertions. It should be recalled Patrick Ndangoh was amongst the Anglophones who appeared in a bunker video at the Gendarmerie headquarters in Yaounde under abject detention conditions.

In all, it took about two hours for the judge to adjourn over thirty cases with appointment taken for November 16.





Published on 28.04.2020

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