By Tata Mbunwe
The Buea Military Court February 15 handed down a 16-month sentence on nursing mother Antoinette Kongnso, who was detained in connection with the activities of his ex-lover, dreaded separatist “General” No Pity.
But Kongnso has already served her sentence, having been detained since October 8, 2021.
She now has to pay just a fine of 65,000 francs CFA levied by the Buea Military Court during the ruling on February 15.
“She has already served 16 months imprisonment and just needs to pay 65,000frs to be a free person,” said Barrister Tamfu Richard, one of the many advocates who have been fighting for her release.
“The administrative procedure has to be followed for her to eventually regain her freedom, but the fine has been paid.”
Her sole crime has failure to report terrorism, although she said she long cut ties with her ex-lover No Pity before he joined separatist fighters.
Antoinette Kongnso’s arrest and detention were earlier deemed unlawful by the South West Court of Appeal, but she remained in custody and no statement was issued to justify her continued detention.
She was arrested on October 2, 2021, at her house in Sandpit, Buea, by a military officer commonly called Moja Moja.
Then, she was eight months pregnant and a month later she gave birth at the Buea Regional Hospital under escort by warders.
Human rights lawyers who were following the case termed the arrest arbitrary and her detention unlawful, but the case was flushed out of the Buea High Court twice, before the judgements were appealed.
The Appeal Court said it was unlawful to continue keeping her and her then month-old baby in prison and that she should be granted bail.
Mimi Mefo Info