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Nigeria still investigating identity of Cameroon’s separatist leaders

Sissiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and 9 others were arrested in Abuja

Nigeria is still to determine the identity of  Cameroon’s separatist leaders arrested in a hotel in Abuja on Friday night,  the country’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has said.

It has been one week since the leader of Cameroon’s separatist movement Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine other were arrested in Nigeria but both countries have remained mute on their whereabouts.

Contrary to reports, Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the State Security Service, SSS has denied arresting the men though rumours continue to filter on their whereabouts.

Nigeria’s foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters on Wednesday he had met the security agencies and said questions remained about the identity of those detained.

“I don’t know whether to call it an arrest or it could be people just called in for questioning or whatever. The investigations are ongoing,” Mr. Onyeama said after a cabinet meeting.

However, human rights lawyer representing the separatist leaders Femi Falana reiterated on Thursday the men were arrested by the SSS.

He called for the Nigerian government to either release his clients from « illegal custody » or charge them within 48 hours or he will take court action “to secure the enforcement of their fundamental rights to personal liberty”.

“Our clients are not illegal immigrants in Nigeria as some of them have been granted political asylum by the federal government while others have valid permanent resident status in Nigeria,” said Falana.



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