Supreme Court Fixes January 17 To Hear Rivers’ Suit On Ceding Of Oil Wells To Imo
The Supreme Court has fixed January 17, 2022 to hear the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the main suit, in the case instituted by the Rivers State Government, seeking to stop the Federal Government from ceding 17 oil wells in the state, to Imo State.
The seven-man panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, fixed the date after counsels to the Attorney General of the Federation, and Imo State, Remi Olatubora (SAN) and Olushola Oke (SAN), told the court that they had two motions challenging the competence of the suit and the court’s jurisdiction.
According to them, they believe these motions, ought to take precedence over the main suit.
The legal team to the Rivers State Government however told the court their summons for direction by the court in streamlining the various applications, ought to take precedent.
He suggested that the motions by the Imo State Government should be heard with the main suit.
Rivers State had taken the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Imo State Government, before the apex court.
The oil-rich state had sought a declaration that the boundary between Rivers and the Imo States, as delineated on Nigeria’s administrative map and other maps bearing similar delineations, are inaccurate and do not represent the legitimate boundaries between both states.
Plaintiff also sought a declaration that as far as Nigeria’s administrative map 10,11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations relate to the boundaries between Rivers and Imo, the said maps are unlawful and void, cannot be relied on to determine the extent of the territorial governmental jurisdiction of Rivers state and to determine the revenue accruing to Rivers state from the federation account, including the application of the principle of derivation and other revenue allocation principles as contained in the 1999 Constitution.
It further applied that the Supreme Court declares that the correct instrument maps and documents, to be relied on determining the boundary between Rivers and Imo state, are those used by the plaintiff in delineating the boundary line between Rivers and Imo state.
Plaintiff also sought a declaration that all the oil wells within Akri and Mbede communities are wrongly attributed to Imo state and that they are all oil wells within the territory of Rivers state and form part of Rivers state and that it is only rivers that are entitled to receive the full allocation of the distributable revenue from the oil wells on the basis of the 1390 derivation as contained under section 162 of the 1999 constitution.
Rivers, therefore, sought an order of mandatory injunction directing the AGF to calculate, to its satisfaction, and refund to it all revenue that have been wrongly attributed to or paid to Imo state on account of the limit or extent of their territories, including earnings due to it from revenue derived from Akri and Mbede oil wells.
The plaintiff also sought an order of Injunction directing the AGF to withdraw from circulation its administrative map 10,11 and 12th editions and to refrain from relying on any of the said maps for the purpose of determining the boundary between Rivers and Imo state.
Rivers also applied for another order of mandatory injunction directing AGF to produce an administrative map bearing the correct boundary between Rivers and Imo state.