Jonathan sets up committee to review ICJ judgement on Bakassi

The panel will review the judgment and decide the propriety of handing over the disputed area to neighbouring Cameroon

President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee to look at the option of appealing the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Bakassi peninsula.

The decision was reached at a meeting between the President, the leadership of the National Assembly and other stakeholders at the State House in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting which started late Wednesday night ended in the early hours of Thursday.

Cross River’s governor, Liyel Imoke, told State House correspondents after the meeting that the committee would also consider how to take care of the displaced people of Bakassi.

Mr. Imoke, who did not disclose the composition of the committee, said it would work within a specified time.

NAN reports that Nigeria has an Oct. 9 deadline to appeal the ICJ ruling which ceded the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to neighbouring Cameroon was delivered on Oct. 10, 2002.

Mr. Imoke said Jonathan had shown great leadership quality by convening the meeting and standing firm on some of the decisions taken.

Also speaking , the Senate President, Senator David Mark, said the executive arm of government and the lawmakers were now on the same page on the Bakassi issue.

He said they would work together to achieve results.

A former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Bola Ajibola, who was at the meeting, said the federal government had shown candid concern on the Bakassi issue.

He commended the move by government to follow dialogue, the rule of law and diplomacy in ensuring that Nigeria gets justice and the people were not wrongly dealt with.

Mr. Ajibola expressed optimism that the committee set up would handle the matter accordingly and in good time.

NAN reports that the meeting was attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and some other principal officers of the National Assembly.

Also in attendance were Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, and the Minister of Justice and AGF, Mohammed Adoke.

Some leaders and representatives of selected groups from Bakassi, as well as presidential aides, were also in attendance.

NAN recalls that the Senat had last week unanimously passed a resolution mandating the federal government to appeal the ICJ judgement on Bakassi because of the new facts which had emerged over the matter.

The motion which gave rise to the resolution was sponsored by Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi Central).

He had argued that it would be wrong for Nigeria not to appeal the judgment because there was still opportunity to do so before the statutory expiration time.

NAN


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