Trial of President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and NERA 9: How does law protect in war 0

It was a rather long day in court.  The French Cameroun escort vans from the anti terrorist special Gendarmerie unit better known by its French acronym GPIGN showed up at the Kondengui High Security Prison in Yaoundé to transport the Southern Cameroons leaders to court at about 11.25 am.

The Ambazonian leaders got to court by midday and were greeted by a college of 60 lawyers from Bamenda, Kumbo, Buea, Kumba, Victoria, Tiko, Douala and Yaoundé led by Lead Counsel Batonier emeritus Eta Besong Jr including an impressive crowd of family members, friends and hundreds of  Ambazonians despite the heavy deployment of troops in and around the court premises. Southern Cameroonians came in their numbers and encouraged their leaders and reminded them to remain resolute.

Today’s court session was presided over by Lieutenant Colonel Misse Njone Jacques Baudouine and two civilian judges identified by our chief intelligence officer as Magistrates Ngouongue and Edou Mewoutou Armand.

The Francophone tribunal started at about 12.45pm with the usual military honours. The President opened the session and had barely explained the reasons for the last adjournment and how proceedings were going to be when Batonier Eta Besong Jr took the floor for and on behalf of the defense, raised issues with the composition of the court that included two civilian Magistrates against whom there was a pending Recusal Application that had not yet been determined by the President of the court of appeal in Yaounde.

Eta Besong’s eloquent arguments were backed up by brilliant submissions from Barristers Paddy Yong, Suh Fuh Benjamin, Akuwiyadze Joseph and Maitre Simh Emmanuel who iced the cake of defense submissions in persuasive French language.

The Commissaire du Gouvernement, Lieutenant Colonel Engono Thaddee and his deputy Magistrate Onambele made submissions for the State party while Barristers Achu Julius, Amazee Anthony, Tanifum Julius and Me Kengmoé submitted for the Civil Party.

The stormy court session lasted 3 hours and the court rose at 4.00pm to deliberate and deliver a ruling in 15 minutes. It was however not until 5.40 pm that sitting resumed and the court simply read out its decision to adjourn the case to the 23/07 for the Ambazonian leaders to be served with the Ruling of the Court of Appeal on the pending Recusal of the other members of the panel as mandatorily requested by law.

It should be noted that during the proceedings, a French Cameroun secret service officer got up and threatened some lawyers and Southern Cameroonians who were present in the court hall and then moved to the center of the court room and stared at the lawyers and population in court menacingly.

Barrister Eta Besong Jr upon hint from lawyers caused the President to summon the man who was identified as a spy in civilian dress from SED by name as Adjudant EBODE Luc. He was promptly warned by the judge and ordered out of the court hall. The Ambazonians leaders confirmed to our chief intelligence officer after the court session that Adjudant EBODE Luc was the leader of the torture team at SED when they were detained immediately after the illegal extradition from Abuja, Nigeria. He was seen several times hitting the heads of handcuffed Ambazonians against the wall in the night when taking them outside the cell for regular flogging including other forms of torture. He reportedly maltreated some nurses and a medical doctor who were brought from Manyu County to SED. The court session ended at 6 pm.

By Rita Akana in Yaounde