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African Bar Warns Nigeria Against Surrendering Anglophone Leaders To Biya 

By Isidore Abah


The African Bar Association has warned the Nigerian Government on the legal implications of extraditing arrested Ambazonia leaders to Cameroon.

“If the motive for these unlawful acts is to return the refugees to Cameroon, then Nigeria would be violating international Law that forbids countries from returning refugees to the countries they are fleeing from.”

The note of caution is contained in a strong worded letter dated Monday, January 8, written by Hannibal .E. Uwaifo, President, African Bar Association to the Honourable Attorney –General of the Federation and Minister for Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the letter, the African Bar Association President decried the unlawful arrest and abduction of scores of Cameroonian refugees resident in Nigeria by State Security agents and the NigerianMilitary Intelligence.

He said some of those abducted are Lawyers and registered members of his Association.
“These individuals had their privacy invaded and whisked away without a warrant or any explanation at all and taken into custody at an unknown location… Nigeria as a respectable and responsible member of the international community has legal obligations under the United Nations Convention on Refugees, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and several other international and local legislations that gives rights to refugees and other endangered civilian nationals of other nations which must be taken into account at all times as Nigeria has obligations to protect these rights.”

Uwaiforeminded the Nigerian Government of the precarious socio-political crisis presently rocking Cameroon.

“Cameroon right now is in total chaos with wide spread State sponsored terrorism, political persecution, intimidation, mass rape and murder particularly against the citizens of the Southern part of that country which has led many to flee the dictatorship there to temporarily reside in Nigeria and other countries within and outside the African Continent.”

The African Bar President further asserted that his association has been working in synergy withothercontinental and international organisations to resolvethe current impasse in Cameroon,“but so far the Government of that country has preferred Fascism and Gestapo tactics to dialogue.”

In this regard, the African Bar Association is demanding: the immediate release of all those abducted, an apology and adequate compensation give to them and a thorough investigation carried out on the matter and adequate punishment meted out on culprits.

“While we trust in the ability and speedy attention of your good office to meeting these lawful demands, we shall however not hesitate to approach the local and international Courts to seek Legal redress if this matter is not resolved with the next 48 hours.”

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