The African Bar Association (AfBA), has issued an ultimatum, demanding the immediate release of Ambazonian leaders abducted by Nigerian State Security Service (SSS), recently.
In a strongly worded letter dated Monday January 8 2017, and addressed to the Nigerian Attorney General, and the Minister of Justice, the biggest Bar Association in Africa, says Nigeria should release all 10 Ambazonian leaders abducted recently; in under forty-eight hours otherwise, the Nigerian government shall be sued on local and international courts.
“While we trust in the ability and speedy attention of your good office to meeting these Lawful demands, we shall however not hesitate to approach the Local and international Courts to seek Legal redress if this matter is not resolved within the next 48 hours,” extract from the letter.
The letter signed by the President of the Bar Association, Hannibal E. Uwaifo, indicated that the Nigerian state security breached all legal procedures and arrested men and women, albeit their status as legal luminaries registered to the Bar Association.
“Honourable Attorney -General Sir, it may interest you to know that most of the abductees are Lawyers and registered members of our Association. Furthermore, these individuals had their privacy invaded and whisked away without a warrant or any explanation at all and taken into custody at an unknown location,” an extract from the letter said.
According to the letter, “If the motive for these unlawful acts is to return the refugees to Cameroon, then Nigeria would be violating international Law that forbids Countries from returning refugees to the Countries they are fleeing from.”
Recounting the scenario currently going on in Cameroun, the African Bar Association says La Republique du Cameroun (LRC), has violated all known human rights laws through their malicious activities going on.
“Cameroun right now is in total chaos with wide spread state sponsored terrorism, political persecution, intimidation, mass rape and murder particularly against the citizens of the Southern part of that Country which has led many to flee the dictatorship there to temporarily reside in Nigeria and other Countries within and outside the African Continent. It may interest you to know sir that AfBA has been working hard with other likeminded Continental and international bodies to see that this crisis is resolved and normalcy returns to Cameroon but so far, the Government of that Country has preferred Fascism and Gestapo tactics to dialogue,” AfBA said.
AfBA strengthens its resolve to advocate to its last spill of the blood, the rights of the common Ambazonian presently enslaved in their own country by LRC.
“The African Bar Association as a responsible Professional Association cannot sit by and allow this type of situation to stand where Security operatives under whatever guise or directives violate Human Rights and international Law especially of members of our esteemed Association,” AfBA added
AfBA indicated, it counts on Nigeria in implanting its leadership role in the respect of international law and justice, to do the right thing; that is the unconditional release of the Ambazonian leaders.
“We make bold to say that Nigeria as a respectable and responsible member of the international community has Legal obligations under the United Nations Convention on Refugees, the African Charter on human and people’s rights and several other international and local legislations that gives rights to refugees and other endangered civilian Nationals of other Nations which must be taken into account at all times as Nigeria has obligations to protect these rights,” the letter stated.
Nonetheless, AfBA has given Nigeria so three demands to fulfil:
(1) immediate release of all those abducted by Security agents of the Nigerian State.
(2) apology and adequate compensation to these innocent individuals for these grave legal infractions and
(3) thorough investigation into the circumstances which led to this unfortunate incident and adequate punishment for those found culpable.
Established in 1971 as a non-governmental organisation for the purpose of uniting individual lawyers and national legal associations in Africa, the African Bar Association (AfBA) was created by a group of progressively-minded lawyers as a federation of national legal associations, corporate and unincorporated legal entities and individual lawyers.
The Association seeks amongst other objectives to foster exchange of opinions and experiences among members, formulation of policies that would better reposition the continent’s socio-economic and political development and advancement with the law as the bedrock for these developments, and lastly breaking new legal frontiers. The Association brings together the five African sub-regional Lawyers, their respective National Associations spread over the AFBA continent.
The African Bar Association’s headquarters is situated in Abuja with a temporary functional office in Lagos, Nigeria.
The AFBA organizational structure consists of a 64-member Governing Council called the African Bar Council and the Executive Committee. These two arms form the highest decision-making organs of the Association.
It has as mission: “To Be the Regional Voice of The Legal Profession in Africa, Bringing Together the Brightest Minds in The World for The Betterment of Africa.”
By Lucas Muma,
Managing Editor – BaretaNews