Thursday, April 24, 2014

Senator faults ICJ judgment on Bakassi

Published:

The lawmakers want Nigeria to appeal the ICJ ruling ceding Bakassi to Cameroon.

The Senator representing Cross River South, Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, has described the judgment of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, which ceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun as faulty.

Mr. Ewa-Henshaw said this at an interactive meeting the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs had with stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday.

In the ICJ’s judgment on October 2010, the ownership of the Bakassi peninsula was awarded to Cameroun. The legislator said that the people of the disputed area were never party to the 1961 plebiscite and the treaty, on which the court based its judgment.

Mr. Ewa-Henshaw added that this was obvious from new pieces of evidence that emerged and independent research carried out after judgment. He called on Nigeria to seek the review of the ICJ judgment in accordance with Article 61 of the statute of the court.

The senator said the people of Bakassi had been seriously abused, noting that efforts to relocate them had been a “complete failure.”

A professor at the Society for International Relations Awareness, SIRA, Bolade Eyinla, also called on the Federal Government to ensure that its foreign policy was guided by the interest of the people.

He urged the governments of Nigeria and Cameroun to pursue means of resolving all contending issues in the implementation of the provisions of the Green Tree Agreement on Bakassi. According to him, the current agitation by some aggrieved groups in Bakassi must be discouraged.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP-Abia), said the meeting was to enable the committee exchange ideas with stakeholders on the issues of Bakassi.

She said that since the judgment was given, there had been growing agitation by Nigerians for its review in line with Article 61 of the statute setting up the ICJ.

Nigeria has just 19 days to appeal the ICJ ruling.

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