Nigeria’s Most Feared Lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) Wants Ambazonian Freedom Fighters Released
Fire brand Lagos lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the detained President of the Interim government of Ambazonia and his collaborators, the Nation News Paper has reported. He also cautioned the federal government against releasing the freedom fighters to the colonial President of La Republic du Cameroun (LRC), Paul Biya.
Falana, said in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday that this was because Nigeria has no extradition treaty with LRC.
A team of armed officials of the State Security Service (SSS), had on Friday, invaded Nera Hotel in Abuja and arrested the President of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, Sisiku Ayuk-Tabe and 9 other leaders.The others arrested are: Professor Che Awasum, Barister Nalowa Bih, Batister Eyambe Elias, Dr. Fidelis Che, Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, Dr. Henri Kimeng, Dr. Cornelius Kwanga, Dr. Ojong and Mr. Tassang Wilfred.
According to the Nation, they have since been held incommunicado at an undisclosed place by the SSS. The detainees have been denied access to their lawyers, doctors and family members contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Reacting to the development, Femi Falana contended that the Attorney-General of the Federation also lacks the vires to initiate extradition proceedings under the Extradition Act (E25) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 for the extradition of the detained Ambazonian freedom fighters. Although the federal government is under pressure from President Biya to hand over the detainees to the security forces of LRC, the learned silk pointed out that the detainees are entitled to reside or visit Nigeria without any molestation .
“To that extent, the federal government has no power whatsoever to hand them over to President Paul Biya. The detained Cameroonian freedom fighters deserve to be released unconditionally from the unlawful custody forthwith. Instead of using the SSS to fight the proxy war of President Paul Biya, the federal government should direct the SSS and other security forces to collaborate with the Nigeria Police Force to fish out the criminal elements that have unleashed mayhem on the people of Benue State”, he said.
Falana argued that since the Ambazonians entered Nigeria legitimately, their arrest and detention by the federal government cannot be justified under the law. “As Africans, the detainees are entitled to the human rights to personal liberty, freedom of association and freedom of expression guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution. Furthermore, their unquestionable and inalienable right to self determination is protected by Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which has been ratified by both Nigeria and Cameroon.
Having failed to crush the ideas which recently led to the demand for the State of Biafra by the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra the (IPOB), the federal government should not attempt to provoke the marginalized people of Southern Cameroons by frustrating their legitimate demand for an independent state of Ambazonia” he continued:
“Since the federal government has not succeeded in completely defeating the dreaded Boko Haram sect, it should not declare war on the people of Southern Cameroons and thereby further expose the displaced people of Bakassi to reprisal attacks”, he further advised.
From the above submission by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, BaretaNews contends that, the decision by the Nigerian secret service to arrest the President of the IG and his collaborators is good for the revolution.
All outstanding legal matters between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Cameroons relating to the issues at stake must be brought to the table. Nigeria must allow Mr. Biya finished his declared war on Ambazonia alone. Mr. Biya and his cohorts must prove to Nigeria and the world that Ambazonia is part and parcel of LRC.
James Agbor, BaretaNews Political Analyst.
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