Yaounde: Trial of 3 Boko Haram militants who destroyed Minister Amadou Ali’s Kolofata residence continues
The trial continued on Wednesday June 29, 2016, at the Yaounde Military Tribunal of three Nigerians accused of involvement in the July 27, 2014, deadly attacks on Kolofata, in Mayo-Sava Division of the Far North Region. Wednesday’s hearing was devoted to identifying all the six accused and reading out the charges to them.
Presiding was Mrs. Justice Yvonne-Léopoldine Akoa, Vice President of the Yaounde Military Tribunal, who also judge with the Mfoundi High Court in Yaounde. She was assisted by Lt. Col. Boum Bissoue Raymond and Major Ndem Victor; while Major Nzie Pierrot Narcisse did the prosecution. The six accused are Mustapha Umar, Mohamed Sherif and Ngare Ishaka, all Nigerians; while the remaining three are Cameroonians – Waziri Isma, Baba Talba and Ramat Moussa.
Because all the accused, except Ramat Moussa, do not speak French nor English, Army Staff Sergeant Kadjoum Basile was called in to interpret in Kanuri (the language spoken by the Nigerians) and Mandara, understood by Waziri Isma and Baba Talba. A Mandara speaker, Sadjo Issa, was later sworn in to henceforth interpret to them.
Mustapha Umar, 29, Mohamed Sherif and Ngare Ishaka, 29 – all born in Gamboru Ngala in Borno State of Nigeria – face a four-count charge of illegal entry into Cameroon, possession of firearms and munitions and the destruction of public and private buildings, including the Kolofata residence of Amadou Ali. This, the charge sheet read, the suspects did using firearms as part of an insurgent force. They are also accused of attacking the Kousseri Gendarmerie Post in the Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region.
While readily admitting their membership of Boko Haram, Mustapha Umar, Mohamed Sherif and Ngare Ishaka, pleaded guilty to three of the four charges, denying any knowledge of the July 27, 2014 attacks on the Kolofata home of Amadou Ali, Vice Prime Minister and Minister in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, and participating in the destruction of the Kousseri Gendarmerie Post. “I was caught in possession of firearms and munitions because I am an active member of “Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad,” Mohamed Sherif told the court in Kanuri through an interpreter.