Nigeria: Representatives Seek Review of ICJ Judgment On Bakassi

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to commence the process for the review of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment ceding Bakassi peninsula to the Cameroon.


The ICJ in Oct. 10, 2002 in a ruling ceded the Bakassi peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon.


This resolution emanated from a motion moved from Rep. Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River) which was unanimously adopted without debate.


According to Ayi, Article 61 of the Statute of 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.


Ayi cited instances of countries like El Savador, 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 Nation supervised plebiscite, where their rights to self determination would be exercised.


The legislator said that similarly, the people of Bakassi called on the Federal Government to do same by invoking the machinery of justice 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 toward the conduct of a United Nation supervised referendum in Bakassi.


Rep. Albert Sam-Tsokwa(PDP-Taraba) who pleaded with members to allow for the adoption of the motion, said that until the ICJ ruling was ratified by the National Assembly, it would not be binding on Nigeria.


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, at the expiration of the date 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 N 13 billion is for recurrent expenditure, N6 billion for transfer to the federation account, N10 billon for transfer to Universal Service Fund, while N 31 billion is for capital and special projects.


Source: The Leader

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