Bayelsa appeals judgment ceding oil wells to Rivers

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The Bayelsa State Government has appealed the December 26, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which revoked its ownership of Soku oil wells and gave them to neighbouring Rivers State.

A statement on Sunday quoted the Bayelsa State’s Solicitor General, Preye Agada, as saying that the state rejected the judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo.

It said apart from the appeal, Bayelsa State also filed an application to stay the execution of the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.

The statement quoted Agada as saying that Justice Ekwo made an order against Bayelsa State while the state was not a party in the suit filed by Rivers State.

“Bayelsa State was not served the processes in the suit before the lower court delivered the said judgment,” he said.

He said Bayelsa State went before the Court of Appeal as an interested party affected by the outcome of the suit which was between the Attorney General of Rivers State and the National Boundaries Commission.

Agada said Bayelsa State had written to all relevant federal agencies to stay action on the enforcement of the judgment, pending the outcome of the appeal.

“The agencies include the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance; the Accountant General of the Federation, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, and the National Boundary Commission,” he said.

The Bayelsa State Solicitor General contended that contrary to the claim by Rivers State, the oil wells described as Soku oil wells were in Bayelsa State, which had been receiving the 13 per cent derivation and other statutory allocations accruing from them for a long time.

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

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