ICJ To Hear Iran’s Suit Against US In August

 

The UN’s top court said Thursday it will hold hearings next month in a bitter battle between Iran and the United States after President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.

“The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 August in the case” concerning Iran versus the United States, the tribunal said.

“The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Iran,” it added in a statement.

Tehran filed its case with the ICJ last week calling for the judges to order the immediate lifting of the sanctions which they said would cause “irreparable prejudice.”

Iran maintained restoring the penalties, lifted under the landmark 2015 deal aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, violated a decades-old treaty.

Nuclear-related sanctions are set to be reimposed by Washington in two phases in August and November and seek to bar European and other foreign companies from doing business with Iran and blocking its oil sales abroad.

Iran argued in its filing to the court that the move would break a 1955 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations concluded between the two countries before the Islamic revolution under the regime of the shah. But the two foes have not had official diplomatic relations since 1980.

The court, set up in 1946 in The Hague to rule in disputes between nations, revealed Wednesday that its president, judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, had taken the unusual step to write a letter about the case directly to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It did not reveal the contents, but said under its rules the court could appeal to any party “to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make … to have its appropriate effects.”

Over the objections of allies, Trump in May withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015.

He ordered the reimposition of the US sanctions that had been suspended in return for controls on Tehran’s nuclear programme, effectively barring many multinational firms from doing business in Iran.

Four days of hearings into an earlier complaint lodged by Iran in October 2016 against the US for freezing around $2 billion of its assets abroad are due to start on October 8 when the United States will argue the court has no authority to hear the case.

AFP

International Court To Hear Kenya-Somalia Border Dispute

International_Court_of_Justice, Kenya-Somalia, Border DisputeThe International Court of Justice is set to hear a long-running maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia at The Hague.

Kenya’s Attorney-General, Githu Muigai, says he would be leading a high-powered delegation to the ICJ to present Kenya’s case.

In a statement, his department accused Somalia of going back on an agreement reached in 2009 to resolve the dispute through negotiations.

The disputed ocean territory stretches for more than 100,000 sq km.

The dispute has kept investors away because of a lack of legal clarity over who owns potential off-shore oil and gas reserves.

Somalia wants the maritime border to continue along the line of the land border to the south-east, while Kenya wants the sea border to go in a straight line east.

In its application to the court, Somalia, which filed the case in 2014, said the two countries “disagree about the location of the maritime boundary,” according to the tribunal, and that diplomatic negotiations “have failed to resolve this disagreement.”

Somalia has requested that the court “determine the precise geographical coordinates of the single maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean.”

The hearings are set for Sept. 19-23.

ICJ Urges Jonathan To Implement ECOWAS Ruling On Oil Pollution

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, asking him to ensure enforcement of the ECOWAS Court ruling on oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

Signed by the Secretary-General of ICJ, Wilder Tayler, the Geneva based organisation in the letter called the President’s attention to the ruling by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the case filed by an civil society; SERAP, against the Federal government of Nigeria.

The ECOWAS Court recently ruled that Nigeria had violated its obligations under the Article 24 of the African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights, which provides that: “All peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development.”

The case concerns activities by oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, whose operations were identified as the cause of severe pollution of water, land and the general environment where people of the Niger Delta live.

The Court has ordered the Federal Republic of Nigeria to:

-Take all effective measures, within the shortest possible time, to ensure restoration of the environment of the Niger Delta;

-Take all measures that are necessary to prevent the occurrence of damage to the environment;

-Take all measures to hold the perpetrators of the environmental damage accountable;

The ICJ enjoined President Jonathan to ensure the enforcement of the ruling by the competent authorities in the Niger Delta and the Federal Government.

Noting that Nigeria has an international obligation to comply with and enforce the decision of the ECOWAS Court ruling in accordance with Article 15 of the Revised Treaty and Article 24 of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol on the Court, the Secretary-General of ICJ in his statement, ‘respectfully request’ the government of President Jonathan to “take all necessary steps and issue instructions to relevant officials to comply with this ruling without delay.”

‘Not substantially improved’

The ICJ further noted that despite previous court decisions, including the decision by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in the case the Social and Economic Rights Action Center and the Center for Economic and Social Rights /Nigeria (155/96), “the conditions of living and the respect of their rights for the Niger Delta people have not substantially improved.”

“The present ruling by the ECOWAS Court highlights that much more needs to be done to enforce laws by holding accountable the perpetrators of violations and ending the pervasive culture of impunity existing in the region.”

“I hereby respectfully request the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to act decisively to make good its international commitments to protect human rights against private parties including transnational corporations and other business enterprises” the statement read, adding that “in your endeavours, law enforcement agencies should have a prominent role and they should incorporate the affected communities in the monitoring of the enforcement process to guarantee their adequacy and effectiveness.”

The ICJ also offered to assist the Nigerian government stating that “my organization, which has a long standing interest and work in the defence of the Rule of Law and human rights in Nigeria, stands ready to assist in enabling better legal accountability and the guarantee of access to justice for the affected people.”

“I would be grateful if your Government could keep me informed of any measures taken to implement the judgment of the ECOWAS Court of Justice” the statement concluded.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan sets up committee on Bakassi to review ICJ judgement

President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee to look at the options for a review of the judgement that ceded the Bakassi peninsular to the Cameroons and how to take care of the people there.

The President’s decision which is coming a few days to the expiration of the appeal period on the case is following a long drawn-out meeting the president held with the leadership of the National Assembly over the matter in the presidential villa.

The meeting which lasted for about three and half hours had in attendance the Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and other key principal officers of the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation, the governors of Cross River and Akwa Ibom, Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as some select groups from Bakassi.

Prince Bola Ajibola who was also in attendance spoke to Channels Television after the meeting said by virtue of convening meeting, the Federal Government has shown a candid concern for its people in Bakassi and that according to him, it is the most important thing for now.

He commended the move to follow the rule of law, dialogue and diplomacy in ensuring that the people are not wrongly dealt with.

He expressed optimism that the committee set up will handle it in a record time.

Liyel Imoke the Cross River state governor said that the president has shown great leadership quality by convening the meeting and standing firm on some of the decisions taken.

On his part, the Senate President; David Mark said that the Executive and the law makers are on the same frequency on the Bakassi issue and will work in the same direction to achieve results.

 

Senate urges Presidency to challenge ICJ’s judgment on Bakassi

The Senate on Wednesday appealed to the Presidency to invoke Article 61 of the International Court of Justice statute to appeal against the judgment ceding Bakassi to Cameroon.

The Senate’s appeal followed a debate on a motion titled, “The Judgment of the ICJ on the International Boundaries between Nigeria and Cameroon including Bakassi.”


Leading the debate on the motion, Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi), who sponsored it along with 18 other senators, noted that the deadline for appealing against the ICJ judgment would expire on October 9.

The judgment was given in 2002 and Nigeria had a 10 year period within which to appeal the verdict or lose Bakassi to Cameroon forever.

Mr Ningi noted that the judgment was erroneously based on an agreement between the British and Calabar chiefs in 1884.

He said that there had never been a precedent in history where a case of this nature was executed without a referendum as enshrined in the UN rules.

“We are disturbed by the lack of faithful implementation of the Green Tree Agreement signed by both the Cameroon and Nigerian governments, thereby vitiating the basis of the implementation of the court’s judgment.

“Articles 3(1) and 2(a) of the Green Tree Agreement stipulate that after the transfer of the territory to Cameroon, the Cameroonian authorities should guarantee the Nigerian citizens in the Bakassi Peninsula the exercise of their fundamental human rights,” he said.

The Senator said the motion was premised on the fact that new facts had emerged after the ruling that were not available before the first trial coupled with the absence of a Nigerian legal representation.

The Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP-Cross River), said that there had been three motions in the previous Senate urging the Federal Government to tarry a while before ceding Bakassi.

Mr Ndoma-Egba expressed regret that the appeals were not heeded by the government and in spite of the protest by the people of Cross River; the government went ahead to hand Bakassi over to Cameroon.

“Bakassi was ceded in spite of the protest by Cross River State. Bakassi was ceded when Cross River had no governor because the election of Liyel Imoke had been annulled.

“There was an acting governor in place. The ceding of Bakassi will go down in history as the fastest compliance with the judgment of the International Court of Justice,” he said.

Mr Ndoma-Egba said the least that the people of Cross River demanded was compensation if they could not be put back to where they were before Bakassi was ceded.

Contributing to the debate, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) wondered which country in the world would willingly give away its own property.

Mr Abaribe said the question of whether Bakassi was ceded because Cross River was a minority should not even arise since they were still citizens of Nigeria.

Hadi Sirika (CPC- Katsina) noted that the issue of referendum was very crucial and essential to the matter.

He called on the Senate to do all within its powers to make the Presidency to appeal against the judgement.

In his contribution, George Akume (ACN-Benue) said that the matter was brought before the National Council of State at the time by then President Olusegun Obasanjo for advice.

He said it had been a very contentious issue, adding that at the end of the debate, the resolution of the council was only advisory.

He said its members were made to understand that Nigeria was being represented by the best legal brains.

Heineken Lokpobiri (PDP-Bayelsa) noted that the motion should have come much earlier, saying Nigeria could take the second option which was to go back and reclaim Bakassi.

“There are two options, one is for us to appeal from now to October 9 and the second one is for us to go back to Bakassi and reclaim it.

“If Nigeria had not elected to appear before the court, it would not have had jurisdiction over it.

“My candid opinion is that Bakassi has not been legally ceded to Cameroon,” he said.

The Senate President, David Mark said he would on his own write a personal letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter.

“Time is not on our side and so whatever decision or resolution we take should be that Bakassi should be returned to us,”” Mr Mark said.

He noted that going on appeal was the only right thing to do since Nigeria had subjected itself to the international court.

Mr Mark noted that it was the belief of every Nigerian that Bakassi should not have been ceded to Cameroon, saying that the Senate would protect all Nigerians.

Reps demand review of Bakassi judgement

The federal government has been asked to seek a review of the International Court of Justice ruling which ceded Bakassi peninsular to the republic of Cameroun.

The joint committee of the House of Representatives on Foreign affairs, Justice and Special duties brought together experts at an interactive session in a bid to help guide the position to be taken by the lawmakers on the matter.

There has been a growing call for government to revisit the International Court of Justice judgment ceding Bakassi peninsular to Cameroon.

The indigenes of the peninsular who were also at the event, told the forum that they are not impressed with the way government handled the land dispute.

They also gave accounts of their experiences in the hands of Cameroonian security forces.

Bakassi people were short-changed – Prof. Oyebode

A professor of International law, Akin Oyebode on Friday said the Bakassi people were short-changed by the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Professor Oyebode disclosed this while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He said  in law a maxim which says ‘once a case has been decided, it has been decided’ also applies in this case.

The professor said although the case of Bakassi can be revisited with new claims  but what new claims does the country have to present to the ICJ?

Watch the interview in the video below: