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Soku Oil Wells: Bayelsa seeks return, heads to Appeal Court

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The Bayelsa Government on Monday said it has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ceded the disputed Soku oil wells between Rivers and Bayelsa to Rivers.

Solicitor General of the state, Mr Preye Agada, disclosed this during an interaction with newsmen in Yenagoa.

Agada, who led the state’s legal team to file the appeal on behalf of the state Attorney General, said that the state is seeking a stay of execution of the judgment pending determination of the appeal.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo on December 26, 2019.

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

He noted that in the motion on notice in the suit no:/984/2019, Bayelsa was not served the processes in the suit before the lower court delivered the said judgment.

He said that the state government had also sought an order of the court to appeal the judgment as an interested party in the suit between the Attorney General of Rivers State and the National Boundaries Commission.

The solicitor general said that the state had written all relevant federal agencies to stay action on the enforcement of the judgment.

The agencies include 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 added that the contested oil wells, which Rivers described as Soku Oil Wells are in Oluasiri in Bayelsa, stressingd that Bayelsa had been receiving the 13 per cent derivation accruing from the oil wells for a long time.

He explained that Bayelsa government had been waiting for Rivers and the National Boundaries Commission to cooperate with the Supreme Court directive to properly delineate the disputed areas in the affected areas once and for all.

The Solicitor General said that it was regrettable that Rivers government, which pulled out of the boundary delineation exercise in 2013, surreptitiously filed the action after years of inactivity.

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

Edited by: Emmanuel Okara/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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