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FG deports Cameroonian separatist leaders – Femi Falana.

FG deports Cameroonian separatist leaders – Femi Falana.

Federal government of Nigeria has deported 12 Cameroonian separatist leaders who were arrested earlier this month.

The separatist leader, Julius Ayuk Tabe, and 11 associates were arrested at Nera Hotels Abuja on January 6 and were detained at the Defense Intelligence Agency according to Femi Falana who has been providing legal support for the detained leaders.

Femi Falana claimed that the detainees were deported last week Friday having been held incommunicado since their arrest as well as denying them access to their lawyers, doctors and family members.

Mr. Falana said further said that, the deputy representative of the office of United Nations Commissioner for Refugees to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Brigitte Mukanga-Eno, was allowed to visit them in detention last week.

Falana said the ill-treatment prompted him to file a fundamental rights suit to enforce the rights of his clients.

The Buhari administration has been criticized for arresting the leaders in a defiant departure from Nigeria’s longstanding policy of being sympathetic towards freedom fighters.

Nigeria was widely praised for its support for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Mr. Falana said that the Nigerian government was ashamed to announce the deportation, which is being celebrated by Cameroonian authorities as a major victory in their clampdown on Mr. Tabe and other leaders of the self-proclaimed Ambasonia state in English-speaking parts of Cameroon.

About 39 other Ambasonian separatist leaders who were detained in Taraba were also reported to have been sent back to Cameroon on Friday by the Nigerian government.

Cameroonian authorities said they have the men and vowed to put them through a thorough trial for their alleged offences.

“The group of 47 terrorists, among them Mr. Ayuk Tabe, has for some hours been in the hands of Cameroonian justice, before which they will answer for their crimes,” Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement reported by Reuters Monday.

Mr. Falana condemned the deportation as “contemptuous of the proceedings pending before the Federal High Court.

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