Judicial investigations have been opened against Sissiku Ayuk Tabe and 46 other secessionist activists arrested in Nigeria and detained in Yaounde at the start of the year, the state prosecutor at the military court has said.
Prosecutor Engono Thadée told journalducameroun.com that the Yaounde regime had initiated a criminal procedure against the separatist activists though the process is still at the level of judicial investigations.
At this stage the interrogations are carried out by the judicial police to determine the existence or not of any offence as well as produce useful evidence for an eventual trial. It is only at the end of such interrogations that concrete charges can be brought forward or proceedings completely dropped, Engono Thasée said.
He however dismissed reports claiming Julius Ayuk Tabe, the Ambazonian leader and the 46 others have been at his office for interrogation. He made it clear that the detained can only meet the state prosecutor at the Yaounde military after judicial investigations must have been concluded. However, he did not give a timeframe for such investigations.
Thus, it is difficult to determine when a case in court will come up against the separatist activists but there are indications they might be charged for secession after declaring the restoration of independence of the the former Bristish Southern Cameroons on October 1, 2017.
Arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Yaounde in January, Julius Ayuk Tabe and the 46 others were granted access to their lawyers for the first time last weekend.