GCI Appeals Ruling in Habeas Corpus Application

Global Conscience initiative today filed an appeal at the registry of the High Court in Buea challenging the ruling of the President of the Fako High Court setting aside a GCI application for the release of three suspects who have been in detention in the Buea Central Prisons for eleven months without charges.

High Court President Justice Forbang Leslie last July 27 had thrown out the GCI application stating that, having perused the “instruments of detention”, he believed and was convinced that the detention was legal.

The GCI appeal is based on two grounds. GCI maintains that the Learned Judge erred in law by giving insufficient reasons to ground the findings of the court that the detention of the applicants is not illegal, and also by misrepresentation of the documents of the case. GCI states in the appeal that the documents of the case includes (1) Three police custody orders issued by the Commissioner of Government of the Military Tribunal Buea on the 9 of October 2008 detaining the three applicants at the Central Prison Buea. (2) Three remand warrants dated 08/07/2009 issued by an Examining Magistrate detaining the three applicants and (3) the affidavit and further affidavit of the applicants.

GCI challenges that the three police custody orders incontrovertibly point to the fact that the three applicants were duly detained at the Central Prison Buea on the basis of police custody orders issued by the Commissioner of Government of the Military Tribunal Buea and not on the orders of an Examining Magistrate. Section 118(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code defines a police custody order to be a measure whereby for purposes of criminal investigations and the establishment of the truth, a suspect is detained in a judicial police cell, wherein he remains for a limited period available to and under the responsibility of a judicial police officer.

GCI asks in the appeal if it can be said that the inscription on the remand warrants dated 08/07/2009 and issued to regularise police custody orders of the Commissioner of Government be interpreted to mean that the Examining Magistrate remanded the applicants on the 09/10/2008?

GCI is therefore praying for the setting aside of the ruling of the High Court of Fako Division, and that the case be decided on the merits, while also asking the Court to find that the detention of the applicants is illegal, and order immediate release of the suspects.

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