Nigerian lecturers, others detained in Cameroon seek Reps’ help to secure release

GodGift Ifunanya
4 Min Read

Six professors in Nigerian universities and four others have petitioned the House of Representatives to help secure their release after being allegedly abducted from Nigeria and imprisoned in Cameroon since January 2018.

The petitioners, all of Cameroonian nationality, of which the others include refugees and asylum seekers, said they were all legally resident in Nigeria.

They stated that they were illegally abducted and deported from Nigeria on January 5th 2018 to Cameroon, on “frivolous allegations of plotting to destabilize the government of La Republique du Cameroon (LRC) President Mr. Paul Biya.”

They petitioned that they were unfairly tried and incarcerated.

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In their petition submitted to the House Committee on Public Petitions by their lawyers, they said two separate judgments in Nigeria had been ruled in their favour in connection with the matter.

The petition was presented on their behalf by Prof Carlson Anyangwe, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, Barr Fru Joseph Awah, Barr Abdul Oroh and Barr Mbinkar Ernestine Singeh.

They stated that despite the judgment by Nigerian courts that their arrest and deportation were illegal hence they should be released and compensated financially, they were still being held at the Kondengui Security Detention facility in Cameroon.

They also added that in October 2022, the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN-HRC-WGAD) in Communication 59/2022 of 14th October 2022, found their arrest and detention by Nigeria and Cameroun arbitrary and illegal and it has asked both Nigeria and Cameroun to unconditionally free the victims and pay them appropriate compensation.

The petitioners prayed as follows, “Cause the government of Nigeria to institute an urgent action to secure the implementation of Communication 59/2022 of 14th October 2022 of the UN-HRC-WGAD calling for the release of the Petitioners. 

Cause the Government of Nigeria to take action and implement the rulings in the 3 judgments of the Federal High Court of Abuja in 2019, ordering the release and compensation of these Petitioners.

“Cause Nigeria to leverage on the Abuja 2002 ruling in the case of Kelvin Ngwang Ngumne et al Vs the FGN, demanding that Nigeria intervenes to resolve the conflict between Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun and respect for the particular clause of the Green Tree Agreement which demands that both la Republique du Cameroun and Nigeria retain their boundaries at independence, To pursue the self-determination quest of the Southern Cameroons to its logical conclusion as mandated by the FHC 2002 judgment.

Cause the Government of Nigeria to take action and urgently initiate proceedings before the ICJ and other international jurisdictions citing la République du Cameroun to be sanctioned for fraudulent misrepresentation during the Bakassi Peninsula case in the ICJ.

“Cause the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take its rightful place as “big brother” in African politics and cause the African Union or the United Nations to intervene in the matter between the Southern Cameroons and La Republique du Cameroun or to proceed as mediator and resolve the ongoing conflict and restore peace and stability in the Gulf of Guinea region.”

At the last hearing of the matter before the House Committee on Public Petitions a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Manu, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had no record if this petition.

He however said their findings revealed the matter was handled by the government as a security and legal matter.

Chairman of the Committee Hon Mike Etaba adjourned the heating tot April 16th 2024 for proper service and hearing.

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