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Bayelsa appeals ceding of oil wells to Rivers

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Bayelsa State Government has appealed the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ceded the oil wells to Rivers State.

The disputed oil wells were located between Bayelsa and Rivers.

The Solicitor General of Bayelsa, Mr. Preye Agada, who led the state’s legal team to file the appeal on behalf of the attorney-general, said that the state was seeking a stay of execution of the judgement delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo on December 26, 2019 pending the resolution of the matter.

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, have been in verbal war over the judgement and other issues since last year.

Agada said that lower court delivered judgement against the state without joining it as a party in the suit.

He added in the motion on notice in the suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2019 that Bayelsa was not served the processes in the suit before the said judgement was delivered.

The state government, he said, had also sought an order of the court to appeal the judgement as an interested party in the suit between the attorney-general of Rivers and National Boundaries Commission (NBC).

According to him, Bayelsa has written all relevant federal agencies, including Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation, the chairman of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and NBC, to stay action on the enforcement of the judgement.

The contested oil wells, which Rivers describes as Soku, are in Oluasiri in Bayelsa, he claimed, adding that Bayelsa had been receiving the 13 per cent derivation and other statutory allocations accruing from the oil wells for a long time.

He further said that Bayelsa government had been waiting for Rivers and the NBC to cooperate with the Supreme Court’s directive to properly delineate the disputed areas once and for all.

The solicitor-general said that it was rather regrettable that Rivers government, which pulled out of the boundary delineation exercise in 2013, covertly filed the action after years of inactivity.

The statement appealed to the people of the affected communities who are all Ijaw to await proper delineation of the boundaries, which it said did not have any effect on the historical ties and relationship between them.


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