Bakassi: AC Reps join battle against Yar’Adua, others

  • Sunday, August 24, 2008 - By JAMES OJO, Abuja
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The Action Congress (AC) caucus in the House of Representatives has applied to be joined as plaintiffs in the suit filed against President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa and seven others over the ceding of Bakassi peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon.

Eight indigenes of Bakassi in Cross River State, namely Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene, Hon. Ani Eric Esin, Hon. Joseph Effiong Etene, Hon. Orok Eneyo and Hon. Effiong Bassey Nsa, Mr. Okon Ita Asuquo, Hon. Udeme Effiong Okon and Mr. Okon Edem Ita had gone to court to stop the ceding, but the Federal Government ignored the ruling of Abuja court on the matter.

The minority whip and AC leader in the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila applied to be joined in the suit on behalf of the party’s caucus.
Before the ceding and the ruling of the Abuja court, Gbajabiamila had in July moved a motion under matters of urgent national importance, calling for the suspension of the implementation of the Green Tree Agreement, pending its ratification by the National Assembly.

Following the motion, the House passed a resolution asking President Yar’Adua to forward a copy of the agreement to the parliament before further action could be taken, but the motion was ignored by the president, who approved the conclusion of the ceding processes on Thursday, August 14.
Gbajabiamila further filed a motion on notice before an Abuja Federal High Court, challenging President Yar’Adua’s disobedience to the resolution of the House.

But in the motion of notice on the suit number: FHC/ABJM/143/2008 instituted by counsel to Hon Gbajabiamila, Seni Adio of Copley Partners, pursuant to Order 12 Rule 1 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2000, he asked for the leave of the court to be joined as a plaintiff in the proceedings.

Part of the motion reads: “As the sponsor of the motion in the House of Representatives entitled, ‘Implementation of the Green Tree Agreement and the ceding of Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroon’, upon which the House resolved that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should submit the agreement to the National Assembly for legislative action and as the Minority whip in the House, I applied to be joined as co-plaintiff.”

According to the affidavit deposed to by Mr. Adio, Hon. Gbajabiamila based his request on his belief in the Project Nigeria and having sworn to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as a Federal legislature, he was duty bound to seek redress on the injustice done the people of Bakassi and Nigeria as a whole.

“The applicant has also informed me and I verily believe that he is seeking to join this proceedings as a plaintiff in order to, amongst other things, uphold the solemn oath he took as a member of the National Assembly to uphold the requirements of the constitution and also to fulfil his pledge to ensure compliance with the resolution on the treaty passed by the House of Representatives.”

Apart from the president and the attorney general of the Federation, the other defendants are the attorney general of Cross River State, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Cross River State House of Assembly, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Boundaries Commission (NBC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance.

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