Nigerian Lawyer Writes Buhari Administration, Gives 2 Weeks for the Return of Deported Ambazonian Leaders
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, a popular Nigerian human rights lawyer and one of the Defense lawyers to the incarcerated Ambazonian President, Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe and co has given the Nigerian government a two weeks ultimatum to bring back the deported leaders and other refugees to Nigeria.
In a letter dated March 20, 2019, a copy of which was obtained by SAHARA REPORTERS, Barrister Falana informed Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney-General of the Federation, of the court judgments against the NSA.
Judgments were given in two suits; FHC/ABJ/CS/147/2018 by Wilfred Tassang and 50 others against the NSA and FHC/ABJ/CS/85/2018 by Mr. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and 10 others against the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Falana stated that the Ambazonian leaders and more than 40 other illegally arrested Southern Cameroons citizens are refugees and asylum seekers and are guaranteed legal protections according to the 1999 Constitution, the National Commission for Refugees (Establishment Etc) Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
In the letter, Falana argued that: “In view of the foregoing, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to advise the Federal Government to comply with the aforesaid judgments of the Federal High Court without any further delay.
“In particular, you may wish to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the case of the Minister of Internal Affairs v. Alhaji Shugaba Darman (1982) 3 NCLR 915 where the respondent who had been illegally deported to the Republic of Chad by the Federal Government was brought back to Nigeria in compliance with the orders of the Borno State High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice Oye Adefila of blessed memory.”
Falana went further to promise a case of contempt proceeding against the NSA and Federal Government should they fail to return the deported leaders and refugees within the stipulated time.
It is worth noting that the Nigerian lawyers had on March 1, won a case they instituted against the Buhari Administration, when Justice Anwali Chinkere of the Federal High Court ruled that the deportation of refugees and asylum seekers was illegal and unconstitutional and ordered for their returned to Nigeria and compensations paid to them.
President Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe and 9 other members of his cabinet were kidnapped in Nera Hotel in January 2018, in a joined operation by members of the Nigerian security service and the colonial forces of French Cameroon. They were later deported to French Cameroun alongside other kidnapped refugees. They have since then been held illegally by the Yaoundé colonial regime in Paul Biya’s Gulag and being tried for terrorism in a Kangaroo military tribunal.
Ambazonians, after the recent court ruling in favour of the incarcerated leaders have been wondering if the Buhari régime would obey the ruling. Falana’s letter to the Attorney General of tye Federation (AGF), Aburkar Malami, appears to be a beginning to the implementation of that court ruling.
But, will the Buhari régime that has a penchant for disobeying court orders and rulings respond to the ruling of the court through the letter from Chief Femi Falana? That is left to be seen as BaretaNews keeps an eye on the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja and the Unity Palace in Etoudi Yaoundé.
James Agbor, BaretaNews Political Analyst.