Bayelsa Loses Soku Oil Wells to Rivers

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Justice Inyang Ekwo of the federal high court sitting in Abuja declared Monday that the Soku Oil Wells/fields belong to Rivers, not Bayelsa state.

He therefore ordered the national boundary commission (NBC) to rectify the 12th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria and the erroneous inter-state boundary between the two states as contained in the extant 11th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria.

The judge said the refusal of the boundary commission to rectify the mistake in the 11th edition of the administrative map since 2002 which showed St Batholomew River, instead of River Santa Barbara as the interstate boundary between the two states was  a breach of its statutory duty and a flagrant disobedience of the order of the Supreme Court as contained in its October 10, 2012 judgment.

Hence, the continued reliance on the defective 11th edition of the map by other government agencies/statutory bodies, especially the revenue mobilisation allocation and fiscal commission (RMAFC) and the accountant-general of the federation in the computation of revenue accruable to Rivers State from the federation account, had caused unjust denial of derivation funds accruing from the Soku Oil Wells/fields to the Rivers state government.

The judge granted the two reliefs sought by the Rivers state government and directed that notice of the judgment be served on the RMAFC and the Accountant-General of the Federation.

The court appeared furious about the way it said the boundary commission could had unilaterally delineated boundaries between Rivers and Bayelsa states after the Supreme Court judgment on the matter, dismissing an objection to the suit raised by the commission, which the court said was lacking in merit.

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