Monday, 5 February 2018

'Lawyers For Sisiku And Co Cannot Have Access To Them, Until After 15 Days In A Cameroonian Cell' Barrister Pensy Clarifies

Barrister Emmanel Pensy

Barrister Emmanuel Pensy has clarified why the Separatists extradited from Nigeria recently cannot be given visiting rights either to meet their relatives or legal counsels. According to the Douala based lawyer, individuals charged with alleged 'terrorist activities', are deprived even from their lawyers, until after  fifteen(15) days of being kept in custody. 

Last January 31st, a bench of lawyers grouped up to form a defense team for 47 anglophone separatists, arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Cameroon in connection with the ongoing Anglophone crisis rocking the two English speaking regions of the country.

The legal team that was led by Barrister Claude Assira tried to meet the separatists who arrived Cameroon on Jan. 27th in vain, and they concluded that the detainees have been denied their rights, which sparked rumours that they had been executed.

"We were asked to verify the situation of these people. We went to SED, and were told we needed an authorization from the State Counsel General, who was inaccessible. I later initiated an 'authorization request', which is pending". Barrister Assira told the press. 

However, this initiative was not appreciated by Barrister Pensy, who said his colleagues breached the procedures of the 'practice at the bar'.

Barrister Pensy clarified over Equinox Tv last Sunday February 4th during the weekly program 'Droit de Reponse'., that; "People labelled with terrorism allegations  are 'locked up for 15 days, without communicating with whosoever.' The State Counsel General does not communicate, and lawyers are bound to UTMOST secrecy." He said, which was not what his colleagues did.

"In the present context, there are things people do not know concerning the practice at the bar. I saw what happened, and was shocked, especially with the news headline: 'lawyers of  secessionists have been denied access to their clients.' And then Barrister Assira said; 'we went there to inform them that we shall be defending them'. It means they are looking for customers. It is forbidden in the laws of the practice at the Bar approved by the Minister of Justice in 2002." He recalled, arguing that the code of conduct of the practice at the Bar forbids this type of approach.

"It is equally forbidden by the law of the practice at the Bar  of 19 December 1990. Families of the culprits can go and ask lawyers to defend them, and not the other way round. That is why their 'authorization request' was rejected at the SED, asking them to go and see the State Counsel of the Republic at the the Military tribunal to at-least fulfill the least formalities of a professional."

We hope Barrister Pensy's clarification answers the famous question of why the separatists have not been granted visiting rights.

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