Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, has described the
Supreme Court judgment on the ownership of 76 oil wells between Cross River and
Akwa Ibom states as seemingly punitive.
Imoke made the remarks in Calabar while receiving the House
of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Agreements led by its chairman,
Hon Yacob Bush Alebiosu who visited him.
According to Imoke, the International Court of Justice
Judgment of 2002 and the Green Tree Agreement which was a fall out of the
ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon had stated that the exercise would not be
punitive on people.
He said the handover of Bakassi to Cameroon in 2008 by the
court’s interpretation meant Cross River has ceased to be a littoral state and
has lost its revenue from the oil wells which have been given to Akwa Ibom
while it has not moved its geographic location as boats and vessels have been
berthing in Calabar daily from Cameroon.
The governor remarked that by losing Bakassi, Nigeria has
failed to address the right of the people and that the issue should be brought
to the fore.
Imoke maintained that the Green Tree Agreement between
Nigeria and Cameroon which is yet to be ratified should not be punitive to any
citizen of the country.
He said the committee’s visit would provide it opportunities
to get the facts and see what the implications of the treaty have been.
The governor observed that its presence in the state was an
indication of its determination to foster good relations between Nigeria and
its neighbour and ensure that the treaties or agreements are beneficial to the
He hoped the visit would also afford it the opportunity to
interact with stakeholders and at the end get them better informed on how the
treaty is related to Cross River in view of the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon.
Imoke explained that the International Court of Justice
judgment on Bakassi in 2002 and the Green Tree Agreement were specific as
certain actions were expected to be taken.
He disclosed that it provided for a transition period of
five years and a joint administration of the area in dispute but regretted that
the territory was handed over in 2008 even though the judgment was delivered in
2002 with no regards to the agreement.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House of Representatives
Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Hon Yacob Bush Alebiosu, said they were
in the state on a fact finding visit following the ceding of Bakassi to
Alebiosu disclosed that their visit was prompted by several
reports which the committee had received on the Green Tree Agreement between
Nigeria and Cameroon.
He said it would afford the committee the opportunity to
have first hand information before making its remarks and recommendation to the
chairman noted that the courtesy call was to seek the wisdom of the
governor on the issue before stepping out to interact with stakeholders.