Nigeria - Anxiety As Supreme Court Rules On 76 Oil Wells

THERE is anxiety in Cross River State, Nigeria as the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Tuesday (today) on the dispute over the ownership of 76 oil wells between Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.
The controversy surrounding the ownership of the 76 oil wells had taken the front burner in recent weeks with various stakeholders expressing critical views over the impending issue.
This is coming just as the Cross River State Government had, through a motion last Thursday by its lead counsel, Chief Yusuf Ali (SAN), prayed the nation’s apex court to suspend the judgment.
The state is contending that a map that was tendered before the court by Akwa Ibom State was allegedly doctored and did not represent the true position of Nigeria-Cameroon.

However, speaking to reporters in his office on Monday, Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Dr. Ekpo Bassey, said the judgment, if not well handled, could cause serious security problems in the country.
According to him, any judgment stating that Bakassi is not a littoral state can give access to neighbouring country from the Calabar coast.

Besides, Bassey noted that the Green Tree Agreement was not domesticated by the National Assembly before the Federal Government hurriedly handed over the sovereignty of Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroon.
He said when the final hand over of the oil rich peninsula was done in 2008, the Federal Government had promised to cushion the effect of pains the people would pass through. It also assured them that they were not going to lose any of their resources. He expressed surprise at the turn of event.

The Bakassi Council chairman, who alleged conspiracy against the state by the National Boundary Commission, said if Cross River is delisted from the oil producing state, “It means that navigation could take place up to the coast of Calabar, which is a serious security issue.”

He, however, expressed hope that the Federal Government would rise to defend the Bakassi people, adding, “I’m not expecting that we will have a judgment that will not be favourable to Cross River State because there may be a security implication on the country.”
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