International Court of Justice - case concerning the Land and Maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (1999)
3.39 The origins of the name Bakassi itself are variously described. Traditionally, in Efik, it means "go early and arrive before dawn".
However, the first Efik fisherman to establish his fishing hut in the forest region is traditionally thought to have been Abasi Eke, a native of Old Town or Obutong (part of present day Calabar).
The Efik at first cailed the forest Akai Abasi Eke (Abasi Eke Forest). The British sailors who frequented the area in the eighteenth century are said to have anglicised Abasi Eke to Bakassey.
3.40 The earliest Efik settlements in the region were sited at the northem end of Bakassi.
Arsibon's Town, which became known as Archibong, was referred to as early as 1786 in Antera Duke's Diary:" it was re-populated by Prince Asibong Edem III as his own family colony, in the early part of the 19th century.
3.41 Abana is situated on land which is traditionally held to have been given by King Orok Bassey Duke to his two brothers-in-law, Ntuen Umo and Ebe, who migrated from Esuk Mba (in present-day Akwa Ibom) over a hundred years ago.
The original settlement has, according to the Town & Country Planning Division, Department of Lands, Surveys and Town Planning, Calabar, been entirely submerged due to the incursion of the Cross River estuary.
The sand bars are visible during low ebb tide at the original site of Abana.
- Map of the Cross River estuary c. 1820, Calabar River to NE via wiki commons [The Diary of Antera Duke]