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Cross River May Get 76 Oil Wells Back From Supreme Court!

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…Unless Court Hands It Over To Cameroon

The Supreme Court has scheduled July 10, 2012 as the judgment day in the dispute over the 76 oil wells between Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State at the nations apex court. Feelers from the Supreme Court reveled that in the course of the trial, the judges showed more support and bias for Cross River State because of the unique fact of their case, especially as it relates to the boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria over Bakassi Peninsular and the International Court of Justice judgment of October, 10, 2002, as the 76 oil wells are located in the Bakassi Peninsular that was in Cross River State and not Akwa Ibom State. More so, Akwa Ibom State does not have a boundary with Cameroon by virtue of the ICJ judgment.

Since after the adjournment of the case for judgment on July, 10, 2012, the judges hearing the case are said to have held three different prejudgment conferences presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru musdapher.

Two out of the three conferences allegedly went in favor of Cross River State based on the fact that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had signed a letter with effect from November, 1, 2006 sharing the oil wells between Cross River State -76, Akwa Ibom State – 108, and Rivers State – 80 as political solutions to settle the disputed oil wells between the three states.

The same court in March 2011 has already upheld the doctrine of estoppel when it held that the content of the said letter confer legal rights over the ownership of the oil wells in favour of the sharing formula contained in the letter of President Olusegun Obasanjo above, and ordered the return of 86 oil wells to Rivers State.

Three of the judges in the Rivers State case of March 2011 are in the Cross River – Akwa Ibom panel, they are Justice Galadima JSC, Justice Adekeye JSC, and Justice Rhodes-Vivour and so they are easily disposed to support the Cross River State case.

Despite the above, there are rumors of concluded plans of compromise to turn the judgment against Cross River State on July 10, 2012 for obvious benefits not minding the clear nature of the Cross River State case and existing precedents at the Supreme Court. It is further rumored that several billions of naira have already been earmarked and disbursed to ensure that Cross River State does not get the judgment in their favour.

However, it is feared that the Nigerian supreme court panel headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher may unknowingly hand over the 76 oil wells to Cameroon on July, 10, 2012 if the court eventually holds that Cross River State is not a littoral State after the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon based on the International Court of Justice judgment of October, 10, 2002.

Legal experts in Nigeria are of the opinion that the International Court of Justice judgment only recognize Cross River State as the boarder state with Cameroon where Bakassi Peninsula is located and therefore no other state in Nigeria can be the beneficiaries of the 76 oil wells over Bakassi except Cross River.

It is also feared that the Attorney General of the federation’s faulty and erroneous presentation at the Supreme Court that Cross River is no longer a littoral state after the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon, and therefore Cross River cannot retain the 76 oil wells, is a serious security threat that may ridicule the Supreme Court and Nigeria after July, 10, 2012.

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