The Supreme Court has clipped the wings of outgoing Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, over his seeming war of attrition against the government and people of Bayelsa state.
Specifically, the apex court said Wike can not forcefully take over a property belonging to the Bayelsa State government, which is in Port Harcourt.
The Court said Wike can not build on the choice property that belongs to Bayelsa state but which Wike claimed to have been bought by his government.
Bayelsa state disputes Wike’s claims of acquiring the property, which is located in the Old GRA part of Port Harcourt, the State capital.
The order of the Court followed a motion ex-parte filed by the Bayelsa State government.
This comes a day after Wike carried out a flag-off ceremony on the said plots of land at Akassa Street, Old GRA Port Harcourt.
The governor had at the ceremony insisted that his administration had taken over the property regardless of the non-consent of its actual owners using what he termed “public policy.”
“Julius Berger has been contracted to build judges’ quarters on the land, and they have five months to deliver the project. We have paid them 25 per cent to commence work immediately,” Wike disclosed.
The development made the Bayelsa State Government approach the Supreme Court in a move to recover its property from her sister state of Rivers.
Bringing the motion exparte for injunction filed by Bayelsa State Government, the Supreme Court said it would not be able to go ahead with the motion because of the counter affidavit filed in opposition to the motion on notice by the Rivers State Government.
The Supreme Court said it would instead go ahead with the originating summons to enable it dispense with the matter and deliver judgment in good time.
While adjourning the substantive matter to January 15, 2024, for hearing, the Apex Court cautioned the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Rivers State, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, against the building of any structure on the disputed land and that Rivers State government stands to forfeit any such building once the judgment is against them.
The Court also cautioned the Rivers State Attorney-General against carrying out any further acts that will affect the interest of the parties since the matter is now before the Supreme Court.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Bayelsa State, Mr Biriyai Dambo, SAN, stood in for Bayelsa State while his counterpart from Rivers State, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, represented his state.