Brian Njume
AmbaNews24 Correspondent Los Angeles

By dismissing Nsahlai Emmanuel’s claims that the Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF) violate American law, the American Federal Court of Northern California recognized Ambazonia’s right to self-defence. Nsahlai Emmanuel, son of Cameroon’s one-time Minister of Transport and diehard supporter of Cameroon’s dictator brought charges against the Ambazonia Defenses Forces and their Spokesperson alleging terrorism and other high crimes. Emmanuel alleged he represented at least 1000 families affected by the ongoing Ambazonian War of Independence pitching their deaths, injuries, business, and property loss to the Ambazonian Defenses Forces. Though the case centred principally around Tapang Ivo Tanku, the ADF’s outspoken Spokesperson, the court stated: “the Court wishes to clarify that it has not hereby declared or determined that anyone or entity is a ‘terrorist.”

Tapang Ivo Tanku, Ambazonia Defense Spokesman and winner of the case against Cameroun

Initially, Nsahalai claimed to represent 1000 aggrieved American nationals who suffered losses but he would not identify these victims. Though the court authorized him to proceed in the case without naming the victims, the court, however, obliged him to release these names. Curt Edmonson, Tapang and ADF’s lawyer in the case demonstrated a high degree of professionalism by sticking to the facts, respecting the court’s time and deadlines, and using only the law to dismiss Nsahlai’s claims. This condition collapsed Nsahlai’s case, exposed his malign intentions, and established clear links with the government of Cameroon to silent activism against their genocide in Ambazonia. Cameroon’s government used Nsahlai (whose mother hails from the same village with Paul Biya) to initiate these lawsuits with the intention of corrupting the American judiciary. This strategy failed to prosper. Before giving a final judgment that buried the case on January 28, 2020, the Court had ruled on several of the charges on August 6, 2019.

Amongst the plethora of reasons, the court advanced for completely dismissing the case is the fact Nsahlai wasted both the Court and Tapang’s time, lied to the court, refusing to present his 1000 witnesses, showing bad faith, could not prevent any strong and relevant evidence, and relied on social media posts and outings.

Why did Nsahlai lose the case?

Nsahlai Emmanuel, US-based Cameroun sponsored lawyer

The basic principle in Common Law is that “he who alleges must prove.” Nsahlai, therefore, had the responsibility to prove allegations linking Tapang Ivo and the ADF to terrorism. Unfortunately, neither Nsahlai nor his 1000 clients could prove the case. The Cameroon government boasted that an international lawyer of repute will use American courts to frustrate the Ambazonian War of Independence. Their case died because the American System proved so hard for them to understand, rigid, and stuck to law and procedures.

The ADF and Tapang are not terrorists.

Under United States law, a person or group can only be deemed terrorists if their actions of mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping occur only outside the USA, affect US Nationals, and happen during peace times, that is, outside of wartime. On these bases, the case against the ADF was bound to fail. So, accusing the ADF, Tapang, the financial and moral supporters of the ADF of terrorism is lame and cannot stand any legal argument in the United because ADF is fighting a war declared by Paul Biya, the victims are not nationals of the USA, and the ADF directs her actions towards Cameroon’s military and officials. The American Federal Court has resolved this question once and for all. All claims against the ADF, their members, their supporters, and funders will fail in all American Court because the Ambazonian Defenses Forces are fighting a war against the genocidal regime and the American government has severally recognized this as a war.

Concerning Evidence, Nsahali relied on social media posts, videos, and online activity. In dismissing the social media posts as legal evidence the Court said: “Plaintiffs [that is, Nsahlai and his 1000 witnesses] do not show a direct relationship between Tapang’s acts and the alleged killings.” The Court further emphasized that “plaintiffs do not allege any specific conduct of Tapang that was the [direct] cause of their suffering and do not provide sufficient facts to describe the vaguely-referenced damages.” By these two statements, the Court clearly states that copying and pasting social media postings remains irrelevant in proving guilt. They must go further and demonstrate where, how, when, who, gave instructions and to who and if the person acted on these instructions. In a tone of surprise, the Court wondered at Nsahlai’s amateurism when he relied on “information and belief” copied from social media instead of proving Tapang’s guilt. While Ambazonians have documented tons of evidence against Cameroon and their soldiers which clearly demonstrates these requirements, Cameroon cannot do the same for Ambazonia. America is fully conscious that Cameroon and her soldiers are committing these horrible crimes in Ambazonia. The American Congress, Department of State, and International Human Rights Organizations have irrefutable evidence to prove Cameroon’s leaders are guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

Lessons from this case.

The United States recognizes Ambazonia is at war

The case against the ADF and Ambazonia was intended to kill the Ambazonian revolution, discourage Ambazonians from funding the ADF, and supporting the revolution. The Court emphatically stated that supporting the ADF is not supporting terrorism. Only the executive branch of the United States through the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice can designate an individual or group as a terrorist. The United States government has rather accused Biya and his government of committing the most serious crimes under international law including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. America’s sanctions against Cameroon stand to show for this. Examples include kicking Cameroon out of AGOA, terminating military and financial support to Cameroon for the crimes they are committing in Ambazonia.

Importantly, the United States recognized Ambazonians are an endangered people. When Tibor Nagy said some people close to Biya must be deceiving him that he can win this war militarily, he surely recognized Ambazonians are simply fighting back. Unfortunately, for Biya and Nsahlai, Tibor Nagy recognized Ambazonians are simply reacting to their crimes against Ambazonia by fighting in self-defence. On February 4, 2020, President Trump re-echoed his belief in the right to self-defence (The 2nd Amendment). The United States, therefore, recognizes that peoples threatened by the use of firearms have a God-given right to fight back, raise money to support the fightback, and find protection under the law.

Supporting the ADF is supporting the right to Self-Defense.

The ADF has distinguished itself as the lone Ambazonian force with clearly laid down rules and command structure. Under International Humanitarian Law, parties to an armed conflict must have a clear hierarchy, identification, and control territory. Following the October 1, 2019, Ambazonian Independence Day celebrations, the ADF controls parts of the territory and these two factors weigh in support of its recognition as an actor in the Ambazonian War of Independence. The technique of attributing terrorism charges on the ADF backfired because the ADF carefully plans and surgically executes its operations. In this light, the ADF is clearly a party to the Armed Conflict and cannot be tagged as a terrorist organization or be tried for acts resulting from the conduct of the war.

Legal frustrations continue mounting for Cameroon and Nsahlai in the USA

After the Court kicked out his complaint accusing the ADF of terrorism, Nsahlai has resorted to blackmailing the United States Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Department of Homeland Security. In a February 7, 2020, press release, Nsahlai claims the “FBI and DOJ fail to follow standards to prevent terrorists living within the USA from killing thousands.” In his original complaint filed in 2018, he asserted that “Tapang is a terrorist of the highest order.” In court proceedings, a lawyer worth the salt states the facts, presents his evidence, and calls witnesses to testify in order to prove a point. But most importantly, the lawyer first identifies the right jurisdiction to receive his complaint. By starting with the Courts Nsahlai demonstrated pure amateurism and lack of legal knowledge. Secondly, by declaring before court hearings that Tapang is a terrorist of the highest order, that is, taking the court or the adjudicating officer’s place. Nsahlai demonstrated his pettiness and poor knowledge of the legal procedure. One wonders why they would care about blackmailing the United States government whereas judgment has already been passed. 

As Nsahlai multiplies insults and abuses directed at United States Courts, Ambazonians must remind him that “forum shopping” is a solid ground for him to lose his license to practice as a lawyer in California. The State of California where Nsahlai is licensed is rigorously merciless when lawyers abuse courts and waste opposing lawyers’ time. In the case against the ADF, the Court sanctioned Nsahlai and ordered him to pay the ADF and their lawyer $5.000 for wasting their time. Conjuring more cases and wasting their time in several courts will definitely result in more sanctions against Nsahlai and his subsequent dismissal from the bar association. The ADF has the option of holding Nsahlai guilty of filing Strategic Law Suits Against Public Participation. If Nsahlai isn’t aware then he should know California is very unfriendly to lawyers who waste the Court’s time trying to silence activists. From the long and short of it, Nshalai cannot win any suit against an Ambazonian activist in the United States.

What is Cameroon next up to?

Cameroon and her lobby firms will organize a press conference in Washington DC with the intention to distort the facts and misinform the American public and government about the crimes in Ambazonia. Contrary to all independent, neutral, and third-party research Cameroon and her lobby firms in the USA seek to absolve themselves of these heinous crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. They have filed a case against the American government with the “United States District Court, Los Angeles, Case No.: 2:20-cv-01233 and the complaint can be read on CAVAT’s social media forums. A news conference about these filings will be held in Washington D.C. in the coming weeks.” 

What must Ambazonians do?

Compile all reports, pictures, and produce CDs and DVDs with Cameroon’s crimes then invade and display them at the news conference Cameroon’s lobby firms plan to organize in Washington DC. Similarly, Ambazonians should follow up on these cases storm the Court premises in Los Angeles with the same information and numerous petitions. Principally, involving the American Press is key to telling the truth to Americans because Cameroon is using money generated from American taxpayers to commit these terrible crimes in Ambazonia. It is equally mandatory to send a compilation of these crimes to the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Treasury. Links to www.ambazoniagenocidelibrary.com should equally be publicized.