The Supreme Court has issued an injunction preventing the Federal Government from transferring 17 disputed oil wells in Rivers state to Imo state.
A chamber judgment on an ex parte request filed by Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, was granted on Wednesday in Abuja. He asked the court to halt the alleged transfer of 17 oil wells to Imo state pending the outcome of the Rivers state government’s lawsuit.
The apex court barred the AGF and the AG of Imo state from taking any further action on the ownership of the disputed 17 oil wells.
The accused were later ordered not to act until the ownership issue was settled.
Recall that on July 1, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) received a letter with the reference number RMC/O&G/47/1/264.
The letter is alleged to have terminated Rivers state and Imo state’s equal share of the 17 oil wells.
The case will be heard on Sept. 21.
The Rivers state administration sued the AGF and Imo’s state AG over boundary disputes.
The boundary between it and Imo state as shown on the Nigeria administrative map and other maps with comparable delineations was erroneous.
It ruled that the maps did not represent the two states’ legal boundaries. The lawsuit also requested a ruling that Nigeria’s administrative map and any maps with comparable delineations were unconstitutional and void. It also revealed that the maps could not be used to calculate Rivers’ territorial governmental jurisdiction or federation revenue.
It further asked the Supreme Court to determine that the correct instrument, maps, and documents to be utilized in identifying the boundary between Rivers state and Imo state were those used by the plaintiff.
According to the lawsuit, all oil wells in Akri and Mbede localities were incorrectly ascribed to Imo state and were actually in Rivers state territory.
Following Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, it is only Rivers state that is entitled to the entire allocation of distributable earnings from oil wells.
The state asked for a statutory injunction mandating the AGF to compute and restore to it all revenue improperly ascribed to or paid to Imo state due to their territorial limits.
This, it argued, should include proceeds from the Akri and Mbede oil wells.
It filed for a mandatory injunction requiring the AGF to create the administrative map with the exact Rivers-Imo state border. The lawsuit also requested N500 million in court costs.