22, March 2019
A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has condemned deportation of Cameroonians who had applied for asylum in Nigeria saying the action lacks legality. In a letter sent to the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, Falana said his clients were also entitled to legal protection. The senior lawyer argued that in utter breach of their rights, they were deported and dumped in Cameroon by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Falana said: “Based on the instruction of our client, we challenged the expulsion from Nigeria at the Abuja judicial division of the Federal High Court. This case was defended by your chambers on behalf of the respondents including your office. “In the judgment delivered on March 1, 2019, the Federal High Court declared the deportation of our client as illegal and unconstitutional, and awarded reparation of various sums to them, ordering the federal government to bring them back to Nigeria and restore all their rights and privileges as bona-fide refugees and asylum seekers in Nigeria.”
The lawyer urged the attorney general to use his good office to compel the federal government to comply with the judgment of the Federal High Court. Legit.ng previously reported that the United Nations said no fewer than 32,000 Cameroonians fleeing insecurity and violence are currently taking refuge in Nigeria.
The UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Cameroon, Allegra Baiocchi, while presenting the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for the country, described the situation in the country as “forgotten crisis”. Baiocchi and Cameroon’s civil protection director, Yap Mariatou, warned at the launch in Geneva that there was a drastic increase in humanitarian need across the country. The UN chief for Cameroon regretted that with attacks on the rise, around 4.3 million Cameroonians, mostly women and children, were in need of lifesaving assistance.