The Bayelsa State Government has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ceded disputed oil wells between Rivers and Bayelsa States to Rivers State.
The appeal was filed by the Solicitor General of Bayelsa State, Mr. Preye Agada, on behalf of the state’s Attorney General. Agada in addition said the state had also commenced move to stay execution of the judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court delivered on December 16, 2019, pending the resolution of the matter.
According to him, the lower court erred in law when it entered judgment against the state without joining it as a necessary party in the suit. In the motion on notice with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2019, Agada claimed that Bayelsa State was not served the processes in the suit before the lower court delivered its judgment.
The state government has also sought an order of the court to appeal the judgment as an interested party in the suit between Attorney General of Rivers State and National Boundaries Commission (NBC). Agada said Bayelsa State in the meantime had written all relevant federal agencies to stay action on the enforcement of the judgment.
The agencies include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; the Minister of Finance; the Accountant General of the Federation; the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the National Boundary Commission (NBC).
He said the contested oil wells, which Rivers State describes as Soku Oil Wells, are in Oluasiri in Bayelsa State, adding that Bayelsa has been receiving the 13 per cent derivation and other statutory allocations accruing from the oil wells for a long time According to Agada, Bayelsa State Government has been waiting for Rivers State and the National Boundaries Commission to comply with the Supreme Court directive to properly delineate the disputed areas in the affected areas once and for all.
Agada said it was rather regrettable that the Rivers State government, which pulled out of the boundary delineation in 2013, surreptitiously filed the action after years of inactivity.