Abuja — The House of Representatives yesterday requested President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a security meeting to review the status of Nigeria's maritime boundaries.
The lower chamber of the parliament said the review was an urgent matter and in the interest of the nation considering the implications of recent adjustments made on the the countries maritime boundaries with Cameroun.
Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Hon Leo Ogor (Delta/PDP) raised the issue in a motion of urgent national importance at plenary yesterday during which he highlighted what he described as the imminent threat to Nigeria's maritime boundaries.
Ogor said that the threat arose from the maritime delineation map drawn up and submitted to the Supreme Court by the National Boundary Commission (NBC) on the disputed oil wells between Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.
Ogor argued that if current maritime delineation was allowed to stand, Nigeria would lose a vital chunk of its maritime territory to other countries.
According to him, the delineation had compromised the territorial integrity and security of the country. This error, Ogor further said, could have grave implications on national security as other countries would now have navigational rights over Nigeria's territorial waters.
However, lawmakers from Akwa Ibom State mounted a stiff opposition against the motion.
One after the other, the Akwa Ibom legislators rose to challenge the motion and cautioned that it was subjudice.
They argued that passing a resolution on such a motion could have an adverse impact on a suit pending at the Supreme Court in which Cross River and Akwa Ibom States were locked in a dispute over some 76 oil wells.
One of those opposed to the bill, Hon Ini Udoka(Akwa Ibom/PDP) warned that a hurried consideration of the motion would be premptive of the Supreme Court ruling on the disputed oil wells in a few days time.
After a heated debate, the House mandated its standing committees on Special Duties, Marine Transport and Foreign Affairs to investigate and reconcile observed inconsistencies between the country's maritime boundaries as defined by the judgement of the ICJ and the latest boundary delineation made by National Boundary Commission.