April 18, 2024

Professors in Nigerian varsities jailed in Cameroon petition Reps, beg FG for their release

Professors in Nigerian varsities jailed in Cameroon petition Reps, beg FG for their release

By Juliet Umeh

Cameroonian professors in some Nigerian universities and other professionals working in the country, who were arrested and detained in Cameroon have filed a petition before the House of Representatives to intervene on their behalf and free them from detention.

The petitioners, ten in number, are registered refugees in Nigeria, who also called on the Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu, to deploy other means to secure their release from detention by the Cameroonian authorities.

Their petition was presented to the House Committee on Public Petitions by a legal firm, FRULAW CHAMBERS.

The professors and professionals were arrested at Nera Hotel in Abuja on January 5, 2018, by security agents and later repatriated to Cameroon, tried by a military tribunal and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Kondengui Maximum security detention facility.

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In their petition, the asylum seekers in Nigeria pleaded with House to, among others, cause the government of Nigeria to institute an urgent action to secure the implementation of communication 59/2022 of October 14, 2022, of the UN-HRC-WGAD calling for their release.

Addressing journalists on the petition, a lawyer at FRULAW CHAMBERS and a former member of the House of Representatives, Abdul Shaibu Oroh, reiterated the call on President Tinubu-led federal government to employ diplomatic and political measures to ensure the release of detainees.

He said:  “What we are asking the parliament to do, we realise that these people were not detained under the administration of Bola Tinubu who is a human rights person.

”He was a former exile, a former refugee in another country who was running away from tyranny. He fought tyranny and defeated tyranny.

“Now, there is hope renewed, so we want that hope that is renewed to engage our neighbours, to touch the lives of our neighbours, especially these my clients. We want him to intervene with the Cameronian authorities to release them.

”Even the UN Special Commission on Arbitrary Arrests made this appeal to the Buhari administration but you people know that the Buhari administration didn’t respect human rights, they didn’t listen to anybody.

“So we are appealing to him, we are appealing to our parliament elected by our people, by sovereign will of the Nigerian people to intervene with the Cameroonian authorities to release these people.

”May be they can go into a conversation to negotiate peace because these people are interested in peace so that their refugees can return home, so that their people can have peace.

“You know, you cannot negotiate with somebody who is not free. These people, one of them, former deputy registrar of Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, was 65 years old and according to the law of Cameroon, you cannot sentence a man who is 65 years old to life imprisonment.”