Lawyers defending Seseku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine other Ambazonian leaders say they have been asked to pay the sum of FCFA 5 million, as one of the conditions to appeal the judgment by the Military Tribunal, which slammed life sentences on the leaders.
The lawyers defending the detained Ambazonia leaders say the demanded sum is destined to be used for processing of court files.
Talking to The Post, Barrister Amungwa Tanyi remarked: “We call this in law, onerous condition of appeal. They could as well ask for their eyes.”
A statement from the lawyers says: “We have been notified with the Certificate of Appeal and other documents confirming our appeal. Consequently, we have 15 days from tomorrow to file our Grounds and Memorandum of Appeal. We have also been informed that, by Monday (September 2, 2019), we will be notified with the conditions of appeal, which involve the payment of a whopping FCFA 5 million, for the production of records of proceedings.”
Asked whether the payment is entirely legal, Barrister Amungwa Tanyi said: “It is legal because the law provides for payment of a sum to enable processing of records of proceedings that have been forwarded to the Appeal Court by the Military Tribunal. On the other hand, it is illegal because exorbitant sums placed as a condition of appeal are likely to deprive the appellant of his right to appeal. If they are unable to raise this sum, they must have forfeited their right to appeal, consequently, they will serve their life jail.”
He stated further: “The law provides for application for variation of conditions of appeal; that is a reduction, but we are in kangaroo courts that might not allow that condition to our clients to enjoy this right, just because they want to torture them or allow them to rot in jail. In law, we qualify the demand of FCFA 5 million as condition for an appeal to be onerous. It is too exorbitant to be met by the appellants. This condition is just like asking the 10 appellants to pluck off all their eyes and give to the military tribunal in the name of obtaining an appeal”.
He said, upon the service of certificate of appeal, appellants have 15 days to fulfil the conditions, or they will forfeit their right to appeal the Military Tribunal’s verdict.