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Another Anglophone Activist Gets Heavy Jail Terms *But Mancho’s Case Suffers Another Adjournment 

By Sylvester Atemnkeng
The case against Mancho Bibixy and co in the Anglophone Crisis has again been adjourned by the Yaounde Military Tribunal to April 24.
Meantime, the Military Tribunal, on that April 14, slammed an 11-year jail term and a fine of FCFA250,000 on another Anglophone detainee, Joseph Ngalim.

Delivering her judgment during the court session that lasted less than 15 minutes, the military judge said Ngalim was found guilty of championing secessionist movement, non possession of a Cameroon identity card and acts of terrorism.
Ngalim was, however, given 11 days to appeal and to pay his fine or risk having another additional 11 months in prison.
In his attempt to say a word or two after his verdict, one of the members of the defence counsel asked him to say nothing.
Mancho Bibixy, Thomas Awa and co. were equally accused of championing secessionist movements, disrupting the Prime Ministers gathering on December 8, 2016, among others.
Taking the lead to present the charges against the accused and begging the court to slam heavy jail terms on them, the State Counsel, Engono Thadee, recounted the history of what led to the arrest of the accused.
Going by his presentation, Engono said Mancho and Co are behind the killing of, at least, 20security forces, burning of schools, shops and the calling of ghost towns in the Northwest and Southwest Regions which, till date, have paralyse many businesses.

To Engono, the court needs to lay more emphasis on the damage caused by the accused when passing the judgment. Some of the damages, he said, include: the child whose hand was wounded in Bamenda while going to school; the girl who was pushed from a storey building in a school in Limbe; the burning of the Bamenda III police and service cars; the attacked on gendarmerie officers at Savannah Street in Bamenda, calling on attack on Francophones by Anglophones; children who are not going to school today because of the strike they fuelled, among others.

Engono asked what Mancho was doing in a coffin in what is today known as the ‘coffin revolution’, in a strike which concerned only lawyers and teachers. He asked what was the business of a radio animator in a strike which was organised by teachers and lawyers? Is he a lawyer or a teacher? he questioned.

“When Mancho and co were asked to speak out to defend themselves on the acts of terrorism, all of them stayed mute. Only Mancho and Thomas Awa spoke, and Mancho was instead talking politics, diverting the courts attention on what he was accused of. Mancho, equally in an out of court demonstration, said Southern Cameroons must gain its independence and saying terrible things against the government” Engono averred.

The civil party,that brought about seven lawyers, with each of them talkingfor almost three hours and beyond, equally begged the court to slam heavy jail terms on Mancho and co.
In his presentation, Barrister Julius Achu of the civil party told the accused to leave politics to politicians. Barrister Achu equally questioned the notion of the term Anglophone, while telling the accused firmly that they are all Cameroonians.

After narrating almost all the history of Cameroon from independence to date, he pleaded with the court to strictly apply the various sentences that go with the charges hanging over the accused.
The defence counsel, led by Barrister Ben Muna, pleaded for the case to be adjourned in order for them to prepare their file. One of the members of the defence counsel, Barrister Claude Assira, said they know the magnitude of the case that is why they are very cautious in their approach. For this reason, they pleaded with the court to give them some little time to prepare their file properly.
After listening to the two parties, the presiding judge adjourned the case to April 24.

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