76 oil wells: Cross River accuses Boundary Commission of forgery

*Wants Supreme Court judgment stopped

07 July 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – CROSS River State has urged Nigeria’s Supreme Court not to go ahead and deliver judgment in the case it filed against Akwa Ibom State, claiming that 76 oil wells transferred to Akwa Ibom State by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) belonged to it.

The Cross River State government, in an application it filed last Thursday, through its lawyer, Yusuf Ali, SAN, and Paul Erokoro SAN, alleged that the map tendered before the court by the National Boundary Commission (NBC), which the court would rely on for its judgment, was doctored and did not represent the true position of the Nigeria-Cameroun boundaries.

It stated that the map was illegal and unreliable for the purpose of dispensing justice on the case before the Supreme Court. The court is scheduled to give judgment in the case on Tuesday, July 10.

Cross River State is also seeking the re-opening of hearing in the case.

Listing ten grounds on which its application is based, Cross River said the chairman of NBC, “Surveyor Alhaji Basir Shettima fraudulently concealed the fact that Exhibit NBC 1 (map) attached to his affidavit deposed to in this court on 11/05/2012, was not an authoritative map but was merely a sketch and proposal made by the National Boundary Commission and was never approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria or even the National Boundary Commission itself at a plenary session.

“Surveyor Alhaji Bashir Shettima fraudulently concealed the fact that Exhibit NBC 1 was made without the input of the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, the authority empowered to make maps delineating boundaries within Nigeria.”

“Surveyor Alhaji Bashir Shettima fraudulently concealed from the court the fact that the letter from the National Boundary Commission forwarding Exhibit NBC 1 (map) to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission clearly stated that the map cannot be used for the demarcation of the boundary between Akwa Ibom and Cross River.”

Cross River maintained that “Exhibit NBC 1(MAP) is illegal and cannot be presented as a foundation for legal claims, as it is void, not having received the approval of the National Assembly and not conforming to the requirements for boundary adjustment outlined in Section 8 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.”

It further claimed that “the seaward boundary of Cross River State as shown in Exhibit NBC 1 (map) is contrary to the decision of this Honourable Court in A.G. Cross River V A.G. Federation & Anor(2005) 15 NWLR (Pt. 947) 71, as well as the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Bakassi case.”

It also accused the NBC boss of fraudulently concealing “the fact that the maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroun has not yet been fully demarcated and that the Cameroun-Nigeria Mixed Commission (of which Surveyor Alhaji Bashir Shettima is a member) is still in the process of demarcation even now with its next meeting scheduled for the 12th of October, 2012.”

Following therefrom, Cross River is seeking an order re-opening hearing on the matter to enable it adduce evidence “in proof of conspiracy and fraud in the affidavit of Surveyor Alhaji Bashir Shettima deposed to in this Honourable Court on the 11th of May, 2012.”

It also wants an order compelling the NBC boss to be present in court at the next adjourned date for cross examination.

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  • The allegations against the boundary commission and its chairman Alhaji Bashir Shettima are weighty indeed. We hope the Supreme Court would take this into congnizance in dispencing its judicial obligations to the parties involved in the suit.

  • Sylvia adie

    Oh God see us(cross riverians) through this most trying moment come n be d invisible judge in this suit so dat at the end the truth will be reaveled Amen.