Hamido Hassan v. The Commandant BMM Bamenda

(1998) 2 CHRLD 29100000.
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Country: Cameroon
Region: Africa
Year: 1998
Court: High Court
Health Topics: Prisons
Human Rights: Right to due process/fair trial, Right to liberty and security of person
Tags: Detainee, Detention

The petitioner, who was in deteriorating health, was detained by the authorities for a period of over two months. His attorney-at-law filed a writ of habeas corpus on his behalf seeking his production before the court and immediate release with an explanation for his detention. The hearing was adjourned twice due to the failure of the respondent, the Commandant of BMM Bamenda prison, to produce the petitioner.

[Adapted from INTERIGHTS summary, with permission]

In declaring the detention illegal and ordering the applicant to be released immediately, it was held that:

  • The evidence on record was unchallenged. The respondent failed to produce the petitioner before the court and offered no plausible explanation for his arrest and detention. There was, therefore, no reason why the petitioner’s immediate release should not be ordered.
  • Moreover, in view of the period of detention and the disquieting situation of the petitioner’s health, it was the duty of the court, as the guarantor of human rights and the freedoms and liberties spelt out in the preamble of the Constitution, to put an end to the deprivation of his liberty.

[Adapted from INTERIGHTS summary, with permission]