NIGERIA AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD COURT JUDGEMENT ON THE LAND AND MARITIME BOUNDARY DISPUTE BETWEEN CAMEROON AND NIGERIA.
The world, after two devastating wars was inspired by a strong desire to live in peace and harmony. Provoked by this burning desire, states in the anarchical international system; resolved in making concerted efforts for the maintenance of global peace and security. One of such resolve was and still, is the building of consensus between and among states through international legal regimes, which led to the establishment of international organizations cum institutions such as, the United Nations (UN) and its specialized agencies. The United Nations, whose institutional legal framework, constituted the World
Court to adjudicate on disputes brought before it by disputing states. This ostensibly is to avert the use of force in the resolution of international disputes, and to ensure perpetual peace between and among states in the world. However, international institutions are plagued by too many expectations and too little power. The World Court is one striking example in this milieu. Its malcontents criticize the Court as an ineffective player in achieving international peace and security, largely because of its perceived inability to control states’ behaviour. Scholars have long blamed this on the World Court “flawed” jurisdictional architecture, which is based entirely on consent. Anything less than a clear indication of consent by the defendant state in a given case is thought to run serious noncompliance risks. This study takes an assessment of Nigeria’s commitment towards the implementation of the 2002 World Court final judgement on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and herself. In particularly, the issue bordered on the oil-rich Bakassi Peniasular, which houses the indigenous communities in which their ancestral homes were adjudged to be Cameroonian territory but which are believed to have cultural and religious ties or affiliation with their kith and kin in Nigeria. The assessment is hinged on Immanuel Kant’s prescription of perpetual peace in the world, which is based on the assumption that his theory best provides solutions to the illpractices surrounding the world political structures. The study adopted the qualitative technique for data collection, and applied the qualitative-descriptive method to evaluate
and analyze the content of our secondary sources. In the study, we re-examined the causes of the dispute as negating factors to global peace and security, the World Court institutional-legal framework for international dispute settlement, and Nigeria’s commitment to global obligations. At the instance of this investigation, the study concludes that the Cameroon-Nigeria dispute is generally bordered on ethno-nationalism. The Cameroon-Nigeria example for dispute settlement is a veritable mechanism for the maintenance of global peace and security – the two states handed over sovereignty to international law. The study further identified that the rights of the indigenous Bakassi population is seriously violated; the people of the region are still clamouring to take their destiny in their own hands. Thus, we recommended that the United Nations should call for a referendum to allow the people decide their future, and on the interim, the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon and the United Nations Mixed Commission should expedite concerted efforts to settle the people and develop the area.