By Njodzeka Danhatu
Leaders of the Ambazonia Movement, arrested and extradited from Nigeria to Cameroon, made their first appearance in Court after several months of detention in Yaounde, while their lawyers, remain upbeat, saying that so far, things are going well in their favour.
The lawyers of the pro-independence leaders, led by Barrister Fru John Nsoh, lead Counsel for the defence team, made promising statements, after the court session on November 1, which was adjourned to November 15 for a ruling on the substantive matter.
Speaking to the press, Barrister John Nsoh, said it has been a long battle to have the leaders appear in court, and tell their story since their arrest. Responding to a question on why the leaders seemed delighted after the court session as they left for their detention centre, Barrister John Nsoh said it was “Because they had an opportunity to tell their story. They have never told their story to anybody, they had not been heard in any court since they were arrested in Nigeria on 5th of January, so this was the first opportunity for them to tell their story to a court. When you attend a court session and you listen to the debate and most of the debates are in favour of you, what do you do? You smile” Barrister Nsoh declared.
It was the first time that the accused were came out in public since they were arrested on the 5th of January 2018 at Nera hotel in Nigeria and later extradited to Cameroon by the Nigerian government.
Report holds that out of the 47 persons that were extradited to Cameroon, only 10 made the court appearance. Among them was the Interim President of the self-proclaimed Federal Republic of Ambazonia Sissiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, Tassang Wilfred, Nfor Nfor Ngala alongside others.
In his press briefing Barrister, Fru John Nsoh said it was the highest turning point in his profession as a lawyer.
He added that the matter may be acquitted any time soon. “We did everything for them to appear in court today, it has been a long battle so far. We are hoping they will be released during the next hearing.”
According to those who were in court for the hearing, the detained leaders appeared relaxed and amused. The excitement which barrister John Nsoh said was because they have been given a listening ear. “Since their extradition, they have never told their stories to anyone. Today, they were excited because they had to explain their case before the court”
Before their Thursday appearance in Court, the leaders were held incommunicado for months before their families were allowed access to them.
The lawyers took the matter to the appeal court in Yaoundé after the Mfoundi high court rejected the habeas corpus motion for immediate released of their clients.