Cameroonian Refugees Protest Deportation Of Separatist Leaders, Demand N68m

Refugees from the English speaking part of Cameroon (also known as Southern Cameroon), on Tuesday, protested against the refusal of the Federal Government to implement the judgment of Justice AnwuliChikere of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which ordered the reversal of the deportation of 10 separatist leaders, who had applied for asylum in Nigeria.

The judgment, according to them, was secured by a team of Nigerian lawyers led by a human rights activist, Femi Falana.

The refugees made the demand during a protest in Abuja to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the arrest and extradition of over 49 of their leaders and others.

The leaders were said to have been arrested by security agencies at a hotel in the Jabi area of Abuja and other cities in Nigeria.

Those arrested included the Assistant Vice-President, Marketing and Recruitment, American University of Nigeria, SisikuAyukTabe; Assistant Professor of Computing and Director, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and Vice Chair of the Institutional Review Board of AUN, Dr Fidelis Ndeh-Che; Head, Surgery Unit, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Augustine Awasum; and Associate Professor of Geology, ABU, Dr Henry Kimeng.

Others were a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, Yar’Adua University, Dr Cornelius Kwanga; Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Bayero University, Kano, DrEgbeOgork; activist and leader of the Teachers’ Union and the Federation of Parent Teachers Union, Wilfred Tassang; human rights lawyers, ShufaiBerinyuy and Eyambe Elias; and civil society leader, DrNforNgallaNfor.

Justice Chikere had in her judgment held that the forced deportation of the Cameroonians was illegal and unconstitutional.

She held that irrespective of whether they posed a threat to the Nigerian state or not, the Federal Government did not follow due process and thus violated both the Nigerian constitution and articles 32 and 33 of the UN Convention relating to the status of refugees.

While ordering their return to Nigeria, Justice Chikere also ordered the government to pay N67.8m in compensation to the deportees.

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