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Imo 17 oil wells: Supreme court gives victory to Rivers

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Teide Emomotimi

The lingering and prolonged boundary adjustment case between Imo and Rivers states regarding the disputed 17 oil wells located in Ndoni and Egbema communities
has been laid to rest, following the Supreme Court judgement in favour of Rivers State on Friday.

It was learnt that the case had lingered for years before victory was given in favour of Rivers State on Friday.

The apex court , in its judgement explicitly declared that the the oil wells located in Ndoni and Egbema communities belong to Rivers state.

It was also gathered that there was an attempt of political arrangement by the federal government for the revenue from the disputed oil wells to be shared equally between the two states which was abrupted by the current governor of the state.

The report said that when Emeka Ihedioha became governor of Imo state in 2019, a presidential memo directed that all the revenue should go to Imo.

It would be recalled that the Rivers state in its suit marked SC/1037/2020, seeking a declaration that the boundary between it and Imo state, as delineated on Nigeria administrative map 10, 11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations, are inaccurate, incorrect and do not represent the legitimate and lawful boundaries between Rivers and Imo States.

Rivers further seeking a declaration that as far as Nigeria’s administrative map 10, 11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations, relate to the boundaries between Rivers and Imo, the said maps are unlawful and void, cannot be relied on to determine the extent of the territorial governmental jurisdiction of Rivers state and to determine the revenue accruing to Rivers state from the federation account, including the application of the principle of derivation and other revenue allocation principles as contained in the 1999 Constitution.

Rivers demanded for a declaration of the Supreme Court that the correct instrument maps and documents to be relied on in determining the boundary between Rivers and Imo state, are those used by the Plaintiff in delineating the boundary line between Rivers and Imo state.

However, plaintiff is also seeking a declaration that all the oil wells within Akri and Mbede communities are wrongly attributed to Imo state and that they are all oil wells within the territory of Rivers state.

The apex court maintained that only Rivers State is entitled to receive the full allocation of the distributable revenue from the oil wells on the basis of the 1390 derivation as contained under section 162 of the 1999 constitution.

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