76 Oil Wells: C/River says Supreme Court verdict, punitive

11 August 2012, Sweetcrude, CALABAR – THE Cross River State government says the recent Supreme Court judgment ceding the 76 oil wells that originally belonged to it to Akwa Ibom State is punitive.

State governor, Mr. Liyel Imoke, made the disclosure before visiting members of the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Agreement on Friday in Calabar, describing the loss at the apex court as “another failed opportunity to address the plight of the Bakassi people.

“The recent experience with the Supreme Court judgment seems to show that Nigeria has taken a punitive measure against the state,” he said, as he further maintained that the development was a “major setback to his government”.

Imoke noted that whereas geographic location has not moved as boats and vessels have been berthing in Calabar daily, 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 therefore lost its revenue from the oil wells which have been given to Akwa Ibom.

He urged members of the House committee to use the opportunity of their visit to acquaint themselves with the facts and see the real implications of the Green Tree Agreement that handed over Bakassi to Cameroon.

The governor also disclosed that “the agreement and the subsequent ceding and hand over of Bakassi were not domesticated by the National Assembly as provided in the constitution.”

Hon. Yakub Bush Alebiosu, the leader of the delegation and chairman of the House Committee, said they were in the state on a fact-finding mission following the controversy which the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon has generated.

According to him, their visit was also prompted by the various reports received by the committee on the Green Tree Agreement between Nigeria and Cameroon and the need for an opportunity to have first hand information on the matter before making its remarks and recommendation to the House.

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  • We wonder what the House of Representatives can do to address a matter already adjudicated upon by the Supreme court. Let’s hope that the members of the House of Representatives would be able to address this issue within the limits of their jurisdiction. Let’s also hope that the Cross Rivers state government is satisfied with the outcome of whatever intervention the members make.