Bakassi Peninsula belongs to Cameroon and not Nigeria, the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo has said.
“Bakassi was more or less part of what they called Southern Cameroon.
“I know that the available facts did not weigh in favour of Nigeria…the facts they (Cameroon) had at their disposal did not favour Nigeria and that was why we lost it (Bakassi),” said Nwilo, who made the clarification in Abuja on Monday.
The disputed territory was lost to Cameroon following a judgment of International Court of Justice in The Hague in October 2002.
Nigeria eventually ceded Bakassi to Cameroon on Aug. 14, 2008 to end the dispute in a pact called the Greentree Agreement.
Although about 90 percent of citizens in the Peninsula are of the Efik ethnic nationality in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River, available evidence favoured Cameroon as the rightful owner of the resource-rich area.
“Even though at times we think it is in Nigeria but the evidences didn’t seem to favour us,” said Nwilo.
While Nigeria had 10 years to present new facts to support its claim, which would have make a call for judgement review possible, it could not find any new information.
“I know just a few months before that, some people brought up some documents but the country felt it was not something new.
“The condition is that it must be something that we did not have when that case was judged and I don’t think we were able to get something that could take us to the International Court of Appeal.
“The pillars are always put properly. That’s why I said that the accuracy of those pillars that you see is less than sub-millimetre accuracy. So the accuracy is very high.
“So it is not the position of the pillars that is the issue; it is the convention, what was agreed.
“It is after that you have agreed on something then you put pillars,” he said.