By Aaron Ossai and Disun Amosun
The House of Representatives Tuesday ruled that all demarcation exercises in disputed communities along the Michika, Adamawa State axis of the international boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon be put on immediate hold, pending the resolution of disputes associated with the implementation of the 2002 International Court of Justice ICJ ruling on the matter.
Chairman House Ad-hoc Committee on International Dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon Rep Benny Lar handed down the ruling on behalf of the lower chamber at the resumed investigative hearing on the matter with critical stakeholders.
In giving the ruling at the close of the Hearing, Rep Lar noted that from presentations made so far, it was obvious that there is a disconnect between the Nigeria Boundary Commission and communities of the Pariah in Numan local government of Adamawa State.
She called for intensification of dialogue and sensitisation between the Boundary Commission and affected communities with a view of ensuring that their feelings, sense of loss and deprivation are not complicated by faulty implementation of the ICJ judgement.
The Ad-hoc committee chairman added that “critical stakeholders in the resolution of the dispute, including the National Boundary Commission, Nigeria/Cameroon Mixed Commission, Nigeria Border Patrol Services, the Military and Para Military and other Security Agencies must exhibit altruism in their dealings with Nigerians caught in the web of desperation or dislocation from their kiths and kind by the judgement.
The Director-General Nigeria Boundary Commission Adamu Adaji in his presentation at the Hearing said the original Nigeria/Cameroon border was based on Treaties and agreements signed by the two countries’ colonial masters England and Germany, and as long as the post independent government agreed to them, it remained sacrosanct unless adjusted by a competent court of law, as was the case with the ICJ judgement on Bakassi and the Lake Chad as it affects Nigeria and Cameroon.
Asked if it was advisable for Nigeria to return to the ICJ for interpretation of the judgement’s interpretation, the DG was of the opinion that the judgement per se was unambiguous and its implementation should be followed to the latter.
The Solicitor-General of the Federation who represented the Attorney-General, Beatrice Jedy-Agba was in tandem with the DG as she said going back to the world Apex Court will not argue well as efforts towards any retrial would be inimical to the tenets of juriworld level.
The military and paramilitary were cautious in their presentations by just reeling off their mandates of keeping the county’s international borders safe from external aggression.