Reps May Appeal ICJ Judgement On Bakassi

The House of Representatives Ad- hoc Committee on International Boundary Dispute Between Nigeria and Cameroon said it might consider a fresh application to appeal the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement that ceded Bakassi to Cameroon.

The Ad hoc Committee gave this indication at a resumed hearing yesterday. It was set up by the House to probe the case of encroachment into another Cross River State territory by Cameroon.

The Danare and Biajua communities and about 7,000–10,000 hectares of land in the Boki Area of Cross River State risk being lost to Cameroon according to a motion by lawmakers from the state recently.

At the meeting with relevant stakeholders on the issue, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Beni Lar, said the panel was concerned about the potential loss of a significant landmass and Nigerian citizens residing within it to Cameroon.

The meeting was attended by the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji; representatives of the affected Boki communities; as well as representatives of security agencies among others.

Lar assured that the House would not let another Nigerian territory be lost to another country.

She said, “From the human rights angle let us know what can be done. It is very important. Everything is dynamic. You cannot have a law that wants to implement a 1912 treaty which is so old. Laws are reviewed from time to time.

“You cannot implement it in the same manner. It is just like when you talk about the issues in Nigeria about grazing routes. You cannot go back and get back the same grazing routes. There has to be a political solution. You give us the legal solution and then we politicians would come up with the political solution.

There has to be a solution. There has to be a way to keep our Nigerian brothers and sisters in Nigeria. We have to find a way around it even if it means coming up with a fresh appeal to the ICJ using diplomatic channels. Whatever we need to do we should do it for the sake of the nation and the sake of our brothers and sisters that live in Nigeria.”

But the director general of the NBC, Adaji called for compliance with the provisions of the ICJ judgement.

Members of the committee expressed anger that the NBC did not seem to be interested in protecting the interest of the country.

A community leader from Boki, Cletus Obun called for urgent intervention to avoid the loss of land and displacement of the people.

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