By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS—HUMAN rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, asking him to investigate alleged abduction of 10 Southern Cameroonian leaders in Abuja, by Department of State Service, DSS.
Falana, who gave their names as Mr. Julius Ayuk Tabe; Mr. Wilfred Tassang; Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor; Professor Augustine Awasom; Dr. Cornelius Kwanga; Dr. Henry Kimeng; Elias Eyambe Esq; Nalova Bih Esq; Dr. Ojong Okongo; and Dr. Fidelis Nde Che, claimed they were abducted at Nera Hotel, Abuja on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
He demanded for their release within 48 hours or be charged to court, saying “if our clients are not released from illegal custody or arraigned in court within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter we shall not hesitate to apply to the Federal High Court to secure the enforcement of their fundamental rights to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
According to the petition, the alleged abducted persons were leaders of the movement agitating for the creation of the Republic of Ambazonia in Cameroon and “not illegal immigrants in Nigeria as some of them have been granted political asylum by the Federal Government while others have valid permanent resident status in Nigeria apart from Professor Augustine Awasom who is a United States citizen. Our clients were assembled for a meeting at Nera Hotel, Abuja on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
”However, before the commencement of the meeting a team of armed operatives of the State Security Service invaded the venue, abducted our clients and took them away to an undisclosed place. The said abduction was reported by the Premium Times edition of Sunday, January 7, 2018. In spite of the detailed report of the credible online news medium the State Security Service has denied knowledge of the abduction of our clients. Consequently, all efforts made by the counsel and family members of our clients to visit them in custody have proved abortive.”