Bakassi: Cross River Lawmakers Want AGF Adoke Sacked, Jonathan Impeached for Deceiving the People
Members of the Cross River State House of Assembly today hit the streets of the state capital, Calabar protesting the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan not to appeal the ceding of oil rich Bakassi pennisula to Cameroun at the International Court of Justice, ICJ in Hague. The lawmakers who accused Jonathan of deceiving the people of the state demanded for his impeachment.
The 10 years grace Nigeria has to appeal against the ICJ judgement ceding the pennisula to Bakassi will expire tomorrow 10th October. The hope of the displaced people and indeed the state has been raised following the decision of Jonathan to heed National Assembly resolutions to appeal the judgement passed 10 years ago by setting up an eight member committee on the appeal. As it turned out to be, the presidential committee was indeed a deceitful act to douse tensions over the pennisula.
In their reactions to the federal government’s deceit crafted and implemented by the less transparent and controversial minister of justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, the Cross River state lawmakers numbering about 25 today staged a public protest to register their annoyance over the way the matter was handled by the federal government.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Larry Odey who led other members on the protest expressed disappointment over the insincerity of President Jonathan on the issue. While presenting the House protest letter at the governor’s office in Calabar, the speaker said “clearly the preponderance of opinion of those at the meeting and of course opinion of majority of a good number of Nigerians is in favour of the review and so Mr President went ahead and set up an eight-man committee, four from the NASS and four from the executive to commence immediately the process of reviewing the judgment.”
Another member of the House who also spoke on the contentious issue, John Gaul Lebo said: “the statement by Attorney-General (Adoke) that Cross River has no fresh evidence to warrant a right of appeal is quite unfortunate because he is not the court nor does he lie in his office to say either the facts are credible or not.
“Besides, the setting up of a shadow presidential committee by the President barely three days to the expiration when we had the right of review clearly shows that there is a conspiracy by the federal government. Article 33 of ICJ clearly states the processes of filling an appeal which must be presented before it. They have the jurisdiction to determine whether it is fresh or not.
“It is not the duty of Cross River to produce fresh evidence because we are only a part of the federation; we have no locus standi to go to ICJ to file an appeal. We rely on Nigeria and if the AG fails to do that he has to resign, our position is that the AG should resign and be made to face trial for treason because he took an oath of office to defend the constitution of the federation.
“He is busy telling the world that the International community is not happy with our position. So, he now takes instructions from the West.
On the resolution of the National Assembly, we are calling on the NASS to ensure that the presidency complies with their resolution because he is not bigger than the constitution. Neither is AG bigger than Nigeria, he is only an appointtee. The NASS is independent. They should take further steps if the president fails to comply with that.”
Responding to the lawmakers protest, an overwhelmed Governor Liyel Imoke bemoaned the consequence of the judgment on the people of the state and expressed worry that the federal government did not do enough to address the issue. “There is a lot of grievances, pain and hurt and emotion and we can only appeal to everyone at this time to remain calm to understand that there are processes and procedures that are followed in cases of this nature and all hope should not be lost and it would not be lost.
“We may have reached the end of one stage of this struggle but I believe there is still opportunity to still address some of the real challenges that the ceding of Bakassi has brought upon the people. So, yes we may not meet the deadline for a review. I hope we do, but we still have a few hours to be considered but in the event that we don’t, I believe very strongly that there is still other opportunity which we will pursue to ensure that justice is done”, he stated.
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