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Another Drama Unfolds At The Military Tribunal As Non Of The State Witnesses Was Able To Identify The Accused Anglophone Detainees

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The trial of leaders of the anglophones struggle continues despite several adjournments. Barrister Felix Abgor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba, leaders of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium, coffin revolutionalist Mancho Bibixy and twenty five (25) others arrested in connection with the crisis in Southern Cameroons will next appear in court on August 31, 2017 after the Yaoundé Military Tribunal July 27, adjourned their case following a stormy court session that lasted for well over six hours.


The trial of the detainees have already seen a lot of drama, the most recent being witnesses brought by the state who are appearing in court for the first time since the trial started in march 2017. Of all the witnesses, seven in total. non of them was able to identify amongst the 27 detainees the ones who disrupted the CPDM rally of 2016. Lead counsel for the defense team, The coming of these witnesses especially now after this case has been on for several months have left Barrister Ben Muma wondering why the state is bringing them only now.
Another drama that unfolded during that court session was the sending off of Hon.Mbah Ndam an SDF parliamentarian and also a lawyer by profession who has been a member of the defense council for some time now.


The presiding judge, Colonel Abega Mbezoa Eko Eko sent him off on the basis that he cannot stand against the very state wich he represents .“What is curious is that for the past seven months, I have been acting as one of the defense counsel but the state has never intervened. However,the withdrawal has no impact.” Mbah Ndam told the Cameroon Journal.A major obstacle witnessed at the beginning of the real trial of the Anglophone detainees was the issueof language as the French translator made several errors with regards to the interpretation of judicial terms. A situation whichMbah Ndam said could lead to a wrong verdict handed down on the detainees if it continues. “Francophone lawyers and Magistrates are yet to be schooled on the criminal procedure code and they do not have the background,” Mbah Ndam also expressed concerns about the level of wich the French translator didn’t master the common law system
Barrister Agbor Balla who has been confined in his cell since July 7, 2017 appeared in court dressed in suit with bearded chin protesting the recent incident in which they have been denied visitors and access to their gadgets. Mancho was seen with his son in court who had come to see his father standing trial.While gov’t continues to hold the Anglophones in detention with impunity following adjournment afte radjournment, individuals and organizations have been calling for their unconditional release and for government to engage meaningful dialogue to bring an end to the political tensions in the North West and South West regions.


The latest of such calls was made July 26 by the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, REDHAC. The detainees are facing charges on acts of terrorism, hostility against the state, secession, revolution, propagation of false news and collective rebellion.

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