Almost one week after five Cameroonian separatists were detained by the police, three of them are still in detention without trial.
The other two were released on Monday, their lawyer told PREMIUM TIMES.
They were granted bail on medical ground, Abdul Oroh, who has been providing legal support for the detainees, said.
Jimoh Moshood, police spokesperson, did not answer or return text messages sent to his phone to confirm the release, as well as when the others would be released or charged to court.
Five members of the Ambazonia separatist movement, a Cameroonian group seeking independence from the Francophone country, were arrested and detained at an Abuja police station last Wednesday. Before then, they had been detained at a secret facility by Nigeria’s intelligence agencies.
They have now been held by the police beyond 48 hours without being charged to court, as permitted by law.
A PREMIUM TIMES reporter on Wednesday was not allowed to speak with the detainees when he visited the Asokoro police station where they were held.
“The two that were released are among the 12 leaders of the group the Nigerian government arrested last month.They are John Ojong Okongho and Nsoh Nabowah Bih,” Mr. Oroh said.
“They were released on bail because they have medical challenges. According to the police, investigations have been concluded and handed over to the Inspector General’s office.
“The remaining three will be released soon I think because they have medical challenges too,” he added.
Another leader of the separatists, Julius Tabe, and others who reportedly gathered at Nera Hotels Abuja on January 6 to discuss the influx of thousands of Cameroonian asylum seekers to Nigeria following protests in October were arrested and detained by Nigerian security forces for about a month.
The group has been outlawed by the government of Cameroon for seeking the break-up of the country.
About 39 other Ambazonian separatist leaders were earlier detained in Taraba. Many of those arrested were handed over to Cameroon authorities by the Nigerian government.
Only 10 out of the 12 arrested on January 6 were deported.
John Okongho and Nsoh Bih had resisted the deportation insisting they are Nigerians, according to Mr. Oroh.
The Buhari administration has been criticised for arresting the leaders of the group in a defiant departure from Nigeria’s longstanding policy of being ‘sympathetic’ towards freedom fighters.