NEWS DIGEST – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the deportation of 47 Cameroonians from Nigeria on January 26, 2018.
A key Cameroonian separatist leader, Julius Ayuk Tabe, and 46 others were deported from Nigeria after their arrest in Abuja.
Ayuk President of a self-declared breakaway state made up of the Anglophone regions of majority-Francophone Cameroon, was one of 15 people whom Cameroon issued an international arrest warrant for in November 2017.
Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary liked the move, saying “a 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”, and praising Nigeria for joining Camerron in “never tolerating their respective territories serving as a base for activities that destabilise one or the other”.
However, in her judgment on Friday morning, Justice Anwuli Chikere, the presiding judge, agreed with Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) that the Nigerian government lacks the power to deport refugees and asylum seekers from the country.
The trial judge ordered the Federal Government to ensure that the deportees are brought back to Nigeria and pay damages of N5million to each applicant.