Cameroon’s government case against three anglophone activists charged with terrorism, suffered another adjournment at the Yaoundé military court on Thursday April 27.
This is the fourth adjournment, human rights lawyer Felix Agbor Balla, university lecturer Fontem Neba and radio host Mancho Bibixy, all leaders of the Anglophone struggle are witnessing since their arrest. The leaders are accused with acts of terrorism, complicity in acts of terrorism, insurrection, propagation of false news, calling for civil war and calling for a return to a federal system.
Cameroon’s state prosecutor had previously asked the judge to add some twenty five young people arrested in connection to the protest to the case. A joinder request which was accepted by the presiding judge despite appeal from defence lawyers. The 25 young people were arrested in Bamenda, Buea, Tiko and Kumba. They are being tried for hostility against their homeland, contempt of state officials, rebellion, and degradation of public property, gang robbery and co-action in acts of terrorism.
For the first time in yesterday’s court hearing, civil plaintiffs who are accusing the consortium leaders of having caused actions that damaged their property were heard. A move, Barrister Manyi Becky Orock, said ambushed the defence. “Some three lawyers representing civil parties came before the military tribunal in Yaoundé claiming damages against the accused. They’re talking about someone who was wounded. Who is that person, who are those who are trying to complain that they have suffered injury during this Anglophone crisis?” she asked. “These lawyers cannot be representing people the court has not seen” she said.
Yesterday’s trial was adjourned to May 24, to give the military judge enough time to decide on an application for bail. Protests in Cameroon English speaking regions began in October last year.