The matter between the Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of the Federation before the Supreme Court over the ceding of oil wells to Imo state has been adjourned to January 17, 2022.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, Remi Olatubura and Attorney General of Imo State, Olusola Oke, had moved for hearing of the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear the matter.
But the counsel to Rivers State government led by Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, countered with a motion for direction to streamline all the other motions.
The Supreme Court seven-member panel of justices led by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, adjourned the matter to January 17, 2022, to hear the substantive case.
Speaking to newsmen counsel to Rivers State government, Sebastian Hon, SAN, said the matter was adjourned to January 17, when all interlocutory applications will be withdrawn, and the substantive matter heard.
“There is a boundary dispute with respect to some oil wells against Imo State. But we joined the Attorney General of the Federation, a necessary party, because of the regulatory bodies like the National Boundary Commission, the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Committee, etc., that are federal agencies.
“Basically, it is a dispute that borders on some oil wells which Rivers State is claiming belongs to it. They (defendants) said the court ought to have taken their motion challenging jurisdiction first, but we said no, we have a motion for direction to streamline all the other motions.
“Then the court said instead of wasting time, let’s wait till January to hear the substantive matter. Everything will be taken on that day.
“They (defendants) actually wanted the court to quash the injunction, but tacitly the court refused to go into that.”
The Rivers State government had filed a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Imo State before the Supreme Court, asking for a declaration that the boundary between Rivers State and Imo State as delineated on Nigeria’s administrative map, 10, 11 and 12th editions and other maps bearing similar delineations are inaccurate, incorrect and do not represent the legitimate and lawful boundary between Rivers and Imo.
Through its Attorney General, Rivers state also sought a declaration that the country’s administrative map 10, 11 and 12th editions and other maps bearing similar delineations with respect to the boundary between Rivers and Imo are unlawful and void.
He said they could not be relied on to determine the extent of the territorial governmental jurisdiction of Rivers State and to determine the revenue accruing to the State from the federation account, including the application of the principle of derivation and other revenue allocation principles as contained in the 1999 Constitution.
The Rivers State government prayed the Supreme Court to declare that all the oil wells within Akri and Mgbede communities are wrongly attributed to Imo State. They are all oil wells within the territory of Rivers State and form part of Rivers State.
The Attorney General argued that only Rivers state is entitled to receive the full allocation of the distributable revenue from the oil wells based on the 13 per cent derivation as contained under Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution.