|I.||Substantive International Law - First Part|
|4.||SUBJECTS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW|
Case Concerning the Land and Maritime
Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria
(Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea Intervening)
Judgment of 10 October 2002
[p. D.O. Ajibola] 93. The Court agrees with Cameroon in that it does not accept the submission of Nigeria that the City States of Old Calabar have international legal personality. As far as Cameroon is concerned, this is a myth or a kind of mirage. It argues that the City States of Old Calabar cannot claim any international legal entity separate from the State of Nigeria. During the oral proceedings counsel for Nigeria argued about the City States of Old Calabar thus: These City States were the holders of an original historic title over the cities and their dependencies, and the Bakassi Peninsula was for long a dependency of Old Calabar. (Ibid., Vol. I, p. 67 para. 5.2.)
94. Although Cameroon accepts that [w]ithout doubt, Efik trading took place over a vast area of what is now south-eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon (Reply of Cameroon, Vol. I, p. 247, para. 5.24), yet it asserts that there were other ethnic groups in that area of the Bakassi Peninsula, which at that time showed a complex pattern of human settlement (ibid., Vol. I, p. 247, para. 5.24).
95. In deciding whether the City States of Old Calabar is an international legal entity, one should look to the nature of the Treaty entered into between Great Britain and the Kings and Chiefs of Old Calabar in 1884. In the first place, this is not the first treaty of this kind signed by the Kings and Chiefs. As I have already mentioned, Great Britain signed altogether 17 treaties of this kind with the Kings and Chiefs of Old Calabar. Secondly, Great Britain referred to it not as a mere agreement, a declaration or exchange of Notes, but as a treaty ¾ Treaty with the Kings and Chiefs of Old Calabar, September 10, 1884 (Counter-Memorial of Nigeria, Vol. IV, Ann. NC-M 23, p. 109). How then could Great Britain sign a document, and call it a treaty if it were not so? It would have been described as an ordinance had it been a document involving a colony of Great Britain. There is therefore no doubt that the City States of Old Calabar have international legal personality.