…Fails to file appeal, 24 hours to deadline …Presidency only sold a dummy –NASS
From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja
The Presidency may have taken the National Assembly on a jolly-ride over the contentious handover of the Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroun. Less than 24 hours to the expiration of the deadline for Nigeria to appeal the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, ceding the Peninsula to Cameroun, National Assembly sources told Daily Sun that the Presidency may have actually sold a dummy to the lawmakers.
It was gathered yesterday that the Presidency was not disposed to filing for a review on the ICJ ruling. Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan had raised an eight-man review committee to advise the Federal Government on the Bakassi case. The committee members were drawn, four each from the National Assembly and the executive arms of government.
But a member of the panel had confided in Daily Sun that government only set up the committee to “fulfill all righteousness and to be seen to be doing something. “Immediately the committee was convened, we moved into action and kept piling pressure on the other members to know the shape the appeal would take. Try as we could, throughout last week, nothing happened. “We even tried to get the green light from government’s representatives on the committee, but there was just nothing happening.
Even as at the weekend, the National Assembly tried to decipher what was going on, but it seems government has made up its mind not to file any appeal.” No official was drafted into the committee from the Judiciary, Daily Sun learnt. In September, both chambers of the National Assembly, in separate resolutions, had urged the President Jonathan-led administration to appeal the ICJ ruling on the Bakassi.
In far away New York, USA, the President told a United Nations session of his government’s “unwavering commitment” to upholding the rule of law and implementing all the pledges made to the international community. Meanwhile, members of the National Assembly had adopted a “siddon look” approach to the case. A high ranking lawmaker urged caution and asked that Nigerians wait for the October 9 deadline to lapse before any action could be taken.
“The National Assembly would not make any move until the expiration of the deadline and we are convinced that the Executive did not file any appeal. It is only then that the National Assembly will respond. “Today is still Monday. Please, wait for the deadline and when nothing is done, then, Nigerians will hear from us…”