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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Supreme Court dismisses Bayelsa suit against Rivers on Soku oilfield

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The Supreme Court has struck out a suit against Rivers filed by the Bayelsa Government over the disputed Soku oilfield.

The court said Bayelsa was liable to abuse of court processes by asking it to make judicial pronouncements on a matter that the Court of Appeal had yet to adjudicate on.

Bayelsa approached the Supreme Court after a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered it to refund the 13 percent derivation it had received over the years from the disputed Soku oilfield to Rivers.

The Special Assistant on Media to Rivers state Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, in a statement, said at the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Justice Ngwuta, who led a panel of seven justices, wondered why Bayelsa decided to file a suit at the apex court bypassing the Court of Appeal.

Ngwuta observed that Bayelsa jumped the gun insisting that the apex court could not make pronouncement on a judgment that was given by a Federal High Court when the appellate court had not entertained the matter.

He explained that the Supreme Court lacks the jurisdiction to make orders on a matter directly coming from the High Court and asked to take its grievances to the Court of Appeal.

The Bayelsa State government through its Lawyer, Kemsauode Wodu, applied for a formal withdrawal of the suit and it was struck out by the Supreme Court.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had while delivering judgment in a suit filed by the Attorney-General of Rivers State against the National Boundary Commission, had declared that the Soku oilfields belonged to Rivers.

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