The court yesterday June 7 rejected requests by the defence counsel to bail the detainees.
The Military Tribunal in Yaounde hearing the case pitting the State of Cameroon against some 27 alleged perpetrators of violence in the North West and South West Regions has rejected requests earlier made by a college of defence counsel for the liberation of the suspects.
Neither possibilities of outright bail nor judicial supervision were granted to Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, Lecturer at the University of Buea, Nkongho Felix Agbor, Eminent Lawyer alongside 25 others jointly tried for what the court says is their complicity in acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, insurrection, group rebellion, incitation of civil war and propagation of false information among others.
Yesterday’s hearing at the Military Tribunal was determinant as all attention was focused on the President of the Court Abega Mbezoa epse Eko Eko to rule on whether or not the detainees could be freed and the conditions for such a release.
Hundreds of lawyers and observers who turned up for the hearing had glimmers of hope at least for the “alleged leaders” especially as the State Prosecutor as at the last but one hearing did not object a judicial supervision for Fontem Aforteka’a Neba and Nkongho Felix Agbor provided ample surety was secured to ascertain their presence in court each time they would be needed.
Anxiety mounted when Abega Mbezoa epse Eko Eko, President of the Military Tribunal, made her entry into the jam-packed court hall at 11:28 am giving room for the Court Registrar to make a roll call of the detainees to be sure that all the 27 were effectively present.
These hopes hit the rocks when the presiding judge read out the summary report of past court hearings evoking the law and concluded with a rejection of all the liberation requests.
Like the State Prosecutor in his objection during the May 24 hearing, the President of the Military Tribunal observed that the nature of the alleged crimes, with possibilities of death sentences, were series enough to keep the detainees behind bars.
They will therefore go through all the court proceedings for justice to take its course.
Next hearing is billed for June 29, 2017. Disappointment could be read on the faces of both the detainees, the lawyers and even family members who came hoping to reunite once again with their loved ones held behind bars since January 2017.
Some family members could not hold back their tears as the Prison vehicles carrying the detainees took the direction of Kondengui Central Prison where they are caged.