Posted by By GODWIN TSA Abuja on
Seven natives of Bakassi Local Government Area, in Cross River State, have filed a fresh suit against the Federal Government challenging the legality of the treaty recently signed by.....
Seven natives of Bakassi Local Government Area, in Cross River State, have filed a fresh suit against the Federal Government challenging the legality of the treaty recently signed by both Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Paul Biya in New York, ceding Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.
The fulcrum of their action is that the treaty lacked the necessary force of law having not been legislated, upon by the National Assembly.
The plaintiffs, who initiated the action on behalf of Bakassi Movement for Self Determination, are asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to stop the Federal Government from expelling them and their kiths and kin from their ancestral homes under the veil of obeying a 2001 verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Their action is coming 22 days to the expiration of a two-month ultimatum given to the Bakassi indigenes by the Federal Government to move out of the disputed oil-rich enclave or be expelled vi et armis (with force and arms) on August 12, this year.
The plaintiffs, who instituted the action, though Lagos lawyer Mr. Femi Falana are Chief Orok Eneyo, Emmanuel Effiong Etene, Ndabu Nakanda, Ita Okon Nyong, Richard Ekpenyong and Elder Tony Asuquo.
The suit has as defendants the Federal Government and Cross River State Government.
In their originating summons pending before the court, the indigenes posed three questions to the court for determination, including:
• Whether the treaty signed by President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Paul Biya of Cameroun in New York, United States of America on June 12, 2006 has force of law when it has not been enacted into a law by the National Assembly, pursuant to section 12 of the 1999 constitution;
• Whether the defendants are competent to expel or remove the Nigerian citizens in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, contrary to the provisions of section 41 of the 1999 constitution and Article 12 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights;
• Whether the two-month quit notice issued to the plaintiffs by the defendants does not contravene the Rent Control and Recovery of Premises Law of Cross River State, under which a yearly tenant is legitimately entitled to a six-month quit notice.
Should the questions be determined in their favour, they are asking for the following reliefs, including:
• A declaration that the treaty signed by Presidents Obasanjo and Biya of Cameroun in New York, USA on June 12 2006 is illegal and unconstitutional as it has not been enacted into law by the National Assembly pursuant to section 12 of the 1999 constitution;
• A declaration that the decision of the defendants to expel or remove the plaintiffs from the Bakassi Local Govt Council of Cross River State is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates section 41 of the 1999 constitution and Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990;
• A declaration that the decision of the defendants to eject the plaintiffs from their houses within 60 days with effect from June 12, 2006 is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void as it violates the provisions of the Cross River State Control and Recovery of Premises Law;
• An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, privies and servants from expelling or removing the plaintiffs from the Bakassi Local Govt Area of Cross River State in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
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