Nigerian Court Halts Bakassi Handover to Cameroon



ABUJA (Dow Jones Newswires), July 31, 2008

A Nigerian court Thursday granted an injunction preventing Nigeria handing over the oil-rich peninsula of Bakassi to Cameroon by August 14 in line with an international court ruling.

"The justice of this case is that parties to this suit should maintain the status quo..." judge Mohammed Umar said in a federal court ruling in Abuja.

"It is hereby ordered that parties should maintain the status quo and should not take any step pending the hearing of all applications."

Eight prominent Nigerian residents of Bakassi had petitioned the court to stop the August 14 handover.

The judge adjourned any further hearing to October 20.

The so-called Green Tree agreement was signed in New York on June 12, 2006 during U.S.-facilitated mediation talks between the two countries and in the presence of former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan.

It followed a 2002 ruling by the International Court of Justice, which awarded the disputed border territory to Cameroon after a long legal battle at The Hague.

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