They were at the Mfoundi High Court yesterday and will go again on March 21.
Lawyers defending Justice Ayah Paul Abine, Deputy Attorney General at the Supreme Court, arrested on January 21, 2017 in connection with the socio-political crisis rocking the Anglophone parts of Cameroon, have requested that he be immediately liberated. The college of four lawyers defending the magistrate say existing laws were violated in the arrest and so he should be freed.
Close-door deliberations on whether or not the request should be granted began at the Mfoundi High Court in Yaounde yesterday March 16, 2017. This was under the President, Nke Joseph Marie, State Prosecutor, Tang Ruben and Court Registrar, Ekassi Renee. Barrister Luke Kisob led a college of four lawyers to defend the incarcerated super-scale magistrate Ayah Paul Abine.
Speaking to Cameroon Tribune after the over three-hour discussions, Barrister Luke Kisob said “on March 6, 2017 we filed a prerogative rit called “Habeas Corpus” meaning bring the body and explain why he was arrested. We consider that his arrest was illegal. Therefore, it is a special procedure asking that he should be liberated immediately because his rights were violated.” The lawyer added that the deliberations “have nothing to do with the substantive matter or the merits of the case. It’s a matter that has to do with the form and his continues detention. Nobody is above the law, but what we are saying is that the law should be respected if proceedings have to be carried out against anybody.”
Although Barrister Kisob declined disclosing how the indoor discussions faired, arguing that “we lawyers cannot comment on matters that are still ongoing in court,” his fellow colleague of the defence bench, Barrister Ndong Christopher, told the press that the deliberations however permitted them to have an idea of what Justice Ayah Paul Abine is being accused of. He said they learned during the deliberations that their client is accused of “complicity in terrorism and rebellion, secession and spreading false information.”
All attempts to get the government bench react failed. The lawyers said they will be back again on March 21, 2017.