They are referred to as the Nera 10. The Ambazonian Interim government leaders’ arrested in Nigeria on January 5, 2018 and later transferred to jail in Cameroon. Today marks exactly two years after the Nera 10 arrests.
They were arrested in Abuja for engaging in what authorities of both countries claim was a clandestine meeting against Cameroonian authorities. Media reports indicated Nigeria’s military made the arrest, though the country’s Department for State Service, DSS initially denied carrying out the arrest.
The Nera 10 and other pro-independence activists have been seeking to create a separate state from the Republic of Cameroon called Ambazonia. On October 1, 2017, they declared their independence.
Led by Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius, the arrested leaders were on August 20, 2019 sentenced to life imprisonment by the Yaoundé Military Tribunal.
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe has since maintained that the people of Southern Cameroons deserve their independence and will only sit on the table with Cameroonian authorities for a negotiated settlement.
The heavy sentence was also criticised by many home and abroad who explained that it was a violation of their fundamental human rights. To human rights lawyer and head of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, Barrister Agbor Balla, “the sentencing of Sisiku and Co to life imprisonment is an affront to due process and the rule of law”.
The right to fair trial is a fundamental human right he stressed, adding that “the Sham process is a reflection of the sham management of the Country.”
Mimi Mefo Info