After heated deliberations yesterday April 27, ruling was adjourned for May 24, 2017.
The Military Tribunal in Yaounde will on May 24, 2017 rule in favour or against a request of defence lawyers of some 27 alleged perpetrators of violence in the North West and South West Regions, to set free their clients held behind bars since 17 January 2017. In a heated and long court hearing yesterday 27, 2017, the fourth on the matter, a college of defence lawyers put up strong arguments on why they feel the 27 detained should be set free.
Their arguments ranged from the calibre of the people being detained, notably Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, Lecturer at the University of Buea, and Nkongho Felix Agbor, Eminent Lawyer who has served in several capacities in diverse international organisations across the globe. The defence lawyers held the huge audience spellbound with succinct presentations on the personalities of the two alleged ‘leaders of the violence,’ stating that their track records should have rather made them assets in the country’s social, economic and political development, rather than ‘terrorists’ as their incarceration suggests. They put the law and logic together to argue that with the unhealthy social climate in the North West and South West Regions, freeing the accused would in no small way help in normalising the situation.
The defence team prayed the court that while freeing Fontem Aforteka’a Neba and Nkongho Felix Agbor, it should also consider freeing the others so that they could go back to the families, calm flaring tempers and in their own contribute to the development of the country.
The State Prosecutor, on his part, acknowledged receipt of the request to liberate the accused but argument ensued on the second request, that concerning other detained. While the defence team and State Prosecutor traded accusations and counter-accusations on the submission or not of the second request, it was however resolved that it be handled before the next hearing.
A novelty in the ongoing hearing yesterday was the presence of some 17 witnesses to testify against the accused and the presence of the civil party to defend victims of the violence.
The two cases, both on counts of complicity in acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, rebellion et al, held as one following the court’s decision on April 7, at the request of the State Prosecutor, to consolidate (join) the two cases to give celerity a chance.