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Detained SCNC Activists Charged With Rebellion, Secession 

By Bouddih Adams & Isidore Abah

The National Chairman of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, Nfor Ngala Nfor and six others who were arrested on April 3 in Molyko, Buea and detained at the Buea Central Prison were released on April 6.

The Divisional Officer, DO, for Buea, Paul Wokam Kouam, led a contingent of policemen who swooped on the seven, while they were having a meal and bundled them into detention. The DO accused them of “inciting the population into rebellion and secession,” Andrew Kang, Zonal Chairman of the SCNC, told The Post after their release.

The seven, namely; Nfor Nfor, leader of the SCNC, Simon Ngwa – County Chairperson for Meme, Andrew Kang, County Chairperson for Fako, Peter Ofon, Emmanuel Ndung, Eric Febstac and the Southern Zone leader, arrested at Pa Andrew Kang’s residence in Molyko, were first detained at the Judicial Police, Buea and later remanded the following day, April 5, to the Buea Central Prison, while one person was held back at the Judicial Police because he had no identification papers.

Arrested on Good Friday, April 3, being a public holiday, when all Government offices were closed,and Saturday and Sunday not being work days, the SCNC activists spent the weekend in detention, as lawyers could not secure their bail.

Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla, Founder, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, narrated his intervention in a posting on the social network on April 4: “I received a call from Barrister Ajong yesterday night informing me of the arrest. Both of us went to the Buea Central Police Station at about 8.30pm. We were refused entry at the gate by the Inspector on duty, on the grounds that his boss had given instructions that no one should enter the premises after 7.00 pm. We insisted and he allowed us to get inside.

However, we could not see Dr. Nfor Nfor, because, the southern Cameroonian on duty refused access to the cell, on grounds that it was late. We persuaded him to allow us talk to Dr. Nfor Nfor but he was adamant. We had no choice but to leave.”

Julius Nyugap Ndi of the SCNC National Secretariat, Bamenda, wrote on the social network: “The National Chairman of the SCNC, Nfor Ngala Nfor… was arrested in Buea, capital of Southern Cameroons along with activists. It should be recalled that after celebration of the so-called Re-unification of Cameroon in Buea, La Republique du Cameroun is bent on cracking down on SCNC so as to triumph with her falsehood of “one Cameroon”. We call on Southern Cameroonians to ventilate this information and pressure for their release.”

Talking about the arrest and detention vis-a-vis a recent ruling of the African Court in Banjul, SCNC Counsel, Barrister Stanilaus Ajong told The Post, April 6, that: “On a general note, the ruling called for dialogue between the petitioners (the Southern Cameroons Peoples’ Organisation, SCAPO, the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC) and the State party (Cameroon). When the petitioners are persistently locked up, it blocks the room for dialogue, because you cannot dialogue from prison. This act (arrest and detention of activists) can cause us to start thinking that the State might not respect the ruling of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ACHPR.

“The Communication from the ACHPR No. 287/14 against a petition filed by Lawyer Ernest Titanji Duga on behalf of Martin Cheonumu versus Cameroon ordered for the immediate and unconditional release of people in detention on the same cause; compensation paid to them,; the punishment of their torturers; Respect of human rights; a stop to trying of civilians in Military Courts; a reply from the Government within 180 days on the implementation of the ruling and so on,” Barrister Ajong spelled out.

He asserted that “detention of people on a public holiday and presenting them to the State Counsel in handcuffs was mental or psychological torture.”

A member of the SCNC, Njousi Abang, whose scheduled meeting that April 3 evening with the SCNC Chairman failed following the arrests narrated: “Nfor Nfor had just arrived in town and was about to have lunch when he was picked up, without letting him eat the food.

He had come to pay an impromptu courtesy visit to the zone and had actually hinted Mola Njoh Litumbe that he was in town and was going to pay him a visit at 6.00pm, but this visit has not been, because he is now languishing in the Judicial Police cell…At the scene, the wife of Pa Kang, the host, informed me that three Commissioners of Police, the DO of Buea with a contingent of policemen, stormed their residence with five vehicles, in combat-ready gear, at about 3.30pm, searched their house and arrested their guest who was about to eat some food which she had served him and his entourage. I saw the food which the seven of them had been served still standing there, most of which was untouched,” Abang observed.

“Many questions arise from these constant arrests of SCNC activists: Is this the dialogue which the African Human Rights Court in Banjul – The Gambia recommended? What harm did these personalities commit that they should be arrested at gun-point? Why are peace-loving people who desire justice for a troubled country, constantly arrested at homes when they are eating or discussing? They have been to Courts to seek justice but there is a huge impediment posed by the Government of Cameroun.”

Also reacting to the issue, Journalism and Communication Professor, Prof. Tata Mentan posted: What do you expect from a system neck deep in political gangsterism? Politics by thugs can never be different. Flush out the ‘thugtatotorship’ and you can chart your path to unbridled freedom, peace and development.”

The SCNC County Chairperson, Andrew Kang, a retired military man, observed after his release that Cameroon’s human rights records are getting dirtier and dirtier, because, “there is no freedom of association or freedom of opinion.”

After the arrest and detention of the SCNC Chairman and the Zonal and County Chairpersons in Buea, the police reportedly moved to Mutengene in Tiko Subdivision and cordoned off the homes of Sam Bokune, Abel Mokwe, Moses Mesue and James Sabum, where another reception was reportedly organised for the SCNC Chairman’s delegation.

The homes of the above trio were ransacked and their relatives were reminded of an SCNC incident in 2003, when Bokune, Mokwe and Mesue mysteriously escaped security drag nets and are still at large today. Meanwhile, security forces are reportedly spanning the frontiers.

The activists said they were suspecting that there was a mole in the SCNC house who had tipped off the administration on the visit and itinerary of the SCNC Chairperson’s delegation.
The activists challenged the Government to respect the African Commission on Peoples’ Rights ruling No. 266/2003 and stop trying to annihilate the movement.

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