In a press statement, lawyers of the civil party, i.e victims of the Ngarbuh massacre believe that for justice to be done, the entire command chain of the military and local Administration of the North West region, spanning from the military general, governor, SDO for Donga Mantung Division and the seventeen (17) members of the vigilantes must appear before the military tribunal as prosecution witnesses because no one is above the law.
They regret that out of the four accused whose names appeared in the cause list, only three of them, BABA GUIDA, SANDING SANDING, and HARANGA Gilbert appeared in court December 17, 2020.
That the fourth accused, TITA NFOR MAXWELL alias Bullet, according to the state prosecutor was arrested and duly identified but disappeared from the hands of investigators and currently on the run.
As concerns the 17 members of the vigilantes who aided the military in their operation, the statement reads the legal department argued that they are not a regularly recognised corps and that they managed to arrest four military men because they belong to an official and identified corps.
The counsel of civil party insist that the report of the fact-finding mission upon publication was emphatically to the effect that all those suspected to have been involved in the massacre were to be brought before the competent jurisdiction. They reiterated, the legal department must ensure that the accused on the run be re-arrested and brought for prosecution before the tribunal.
It should be recalled that hearing that held on December 17, 2020, was adjourned for January 21, 2021, to enable some counsel of the civil and defense parties to perfect their appearances, to allow defense and prosecution to file lists of their witnesses and most importantly to summon representatives of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Defense.
More than 23 villagers were killed on February 14, 2020 when a former combatant led a group of soldiers to Ngarbuh village in the northwest region, where they threw bombs on many houses killing at least 13 shcool children, pregnant women and others.