The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution calling on the Federal Government to commence the process for a review of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ceded Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon.
The ICJ in a ruling, on October 10, 2002, ceded the Bakassi peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon. It was part of Cross River State in Nigeria.
Following a motion by Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River), the Lower House, without debate, unanimously approved the resolution
According to Mr. Ayi, article 61 of the Statute of the ICJ provided for application for the revision of a judgment only when some facts that are decisive factors, are unknown to the court and the party seeking revision.
Mr. Ayi cited instances of countries like El Salvador, Yugoslavia and Tunisia which applied for a review of judgments by the ICJ. He said that the people of Bakassi insisted on having a United Nations’ supervised plebiscite, where their rights to self determination would be exercised.
The legislator said that the people of Bakassi also called on the Federal Government to seek justice by invoking the machinery of the law, and demand for a review of the case.
He said that there was the need for a review as the judgment was reached in error.
“One of these facts is that the 1913 Anglo-German treaty relied on by the ICJ to cede Bakassi to Cameroon is in breach of Article 6 of the General Act of Berlin Conference that enjoined European powers to watch out over the preservation of the native tribes and not to take over or effect transfer of their territory, ” he said.
He said the Federal Government should initiate the process towards the conduct of a United Nations supervised referendum in Bakassi.
While contributing, Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP-Taraba), who pleaded with members to support the adoption of the motion, said that until the ICJ ruling was ratified by the National Assembly, it would not be binding on Nigeria.
Mr. Sam-Tsokwa noted that as a country, Nigeria had the right to apply for a review of the judgment.
“We are within the confines of the law to apply for a review. We have the right to apply for a review under the ICJ laws,” he said.
He said that Nigeria had up to October to seek for the review of the judgment, after which it can no longer seek any review.
Meanwhile, the House has approved the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) 2012 budget of N52 billion.
The sum of N13 billion is for recurrent expenditure, N6 billion for transfer to the federation account, while N31 billion is for capital and special projects.