Monday, 8 January 2018

How Cameronian Seperatist Leader, Other Officials Were Abducted In Abuja..Falana Calls For Their Release

Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe
Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the separatist Ambazonia in Southern Cameroon, has been abducted in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. A statement signed by Secretary of Communications and IT, Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Chris Anu, said Tabe was abducted by gunmen from la Republic du Cameroun at about 7:30 pm in Nera Hotels, (Ekwueme Road), Abuja, Nigeria, on January 5, 2018.”

The statement said the Federal Government of Nigeria had been notified of the incident and was currently investigating the situation. Tabe is the head of the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, following the declaration of independence of the Anglophone Southern Cameroon from Republic of Cameroon, which is the francophone part of the country.

In November, he named a series of secretaries into the interim national government. But the declaration of independence has not been recognised by the United Nations or any country. Abducted along with Tabe, according to the statement, were Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, who is the chairman of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, Dr. Henry Kimeng, Prof. Awasum, Dr. Cornelius Kwanga, Mr. Tassang Wilfred, Barrister Eyambe Elias, Dr. Ojong Okongho and Barrister Nalowa Bih.

The statement said Tabe and his team were in a “high command meeting in Abuja at the time the Cameroon gunmen showed up.“The meeting started at around 5pm, Nigerian time. At around 7:30pm, the gunmen came into the hotel and abducted all of them including the President,” the statement read. 

Meanwhile,A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the Federal Government to immediately release the seven Cameroonian separatists that were arrested by the Department of State Services in Abuja on Saturday.

Falana said in a statement that the arrested freedom fighters — Mr. Sikiku Tabe, Prof. Che Awasum, Mr. Nalowa Bih, Dr. Fidelis Che, Dr. Nfor Nfor, Dr. Henri Kumeng and Dr. Cornelius Kwanga — who are calling for the secession of the Southern region of Cameroon, entered Nigeria legally and thus should not be treated as criminals.

He said the agitators, who are calling for the creation of the independent state of Ambazonia, had been held incommunicado and denied access to their lawyers, doctors and relatives contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners.

Falana said, “Since the Cameroonians entered Nigeria legitimately their arrest and detention by the Federal Government cannot be justified under the law. As Africans, the detainees are entitled to human rights to personal liberty, freedom of association and freedom of expression guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.

“Furthermore, their unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination is protected by article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which has been ratified by both Nigeria and Cameroon.”

The human rights lawyer urged the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), not to extradite the agitators as Nigeria had no extradition treaty with Cameroon.

He further advised the Federal Government to consider the safety of Nigerians in Bakassi who might suffer attacks from supporters of the arrested freedom fighters.

Falana said, “Having failed to crush the ideas which recently led to the demand for the state of Biafra by the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, the Federal Government should not attempt to provoke the marginalised people of Southern Cameroon by frustrating their legitimate demand for an independent state of Ambazonia.

“Since the Federal Government has not succeeded in completely defeating the dreaded Boko Haram sect it should not declare war on the people of Southern Cameroon and thereby further expose the displaced people of Bakassi to reprisal.

“We are therefore compelled to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the detained Cameroonian freedom fighters without any further delay. Since Nigeria has no extradition treaty with Cameroon, the Attorney General of the Federation lacks the vires to initiate extradition proceedings under the Extradition Act (E25) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 for the extradition of the detained Cameroonian freedom fighters.”

Falana added that although the Federal Government was under pressure from President Paul Biya of Cameroon to hand over the detainees to the security forces in Cameroon, it must be realised that the detainees were entitled to reside or visit Nigeria without any molestation.

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