The Supreme Court has fixed January 17, to hear an application challenging its jurisdiction in a suit instituted by Rivers State Government seeking to stop the federal government from relinquishing 17 oil wells to Imo state.
The Rivers State government had filed a suit at the apex court against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and Imo State Government seeking to declare as inaccurate and incorrect, the delineation of boundaries between Imo and Rivers on Nigeria’s administrative map and other maps bearing similar delineations.
A seven-man panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun on Monday slated January 17, 2022, to hear both the Imo State government’s motion on notice challenging the jurisdiction of the apex court and the AGF’s counter-affidavit against Rivers State’s writ of summons.
What happened in court
Counsel to Imo State government, Olusola Oke and counsel to AGF, Remi Olatubora, argued in court on Monday that their motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the competence of the suit ought to take precedence over the main suit.
Mr Olusola argued that the Rivers State government was supposed to file the suit at a Federal High Court and not the Supreme Court since the suit is challenging the action of some federal government agencies and not the Federal Government itself.
However, Rivers State’s counsel told the court that their summons for direction by the court in streamlining the various applications is supposed to take precedence.
What you should know
Rivers State government wants the apex court to declare that the oil wells within Akri and Mbede communities are wrongly attributed to Imo state as they fall within the territory of Rivers State and form part of Rivers state.
According to Rivers, the boundaries as delineated on the administrative map do not represent the legitimate and lawful boundaries between both states.
The apex court had issued an order in July restraining the federal government from ceding the 17 oil wells located in Akri and Mgbede communities to Imo State.
However, the Federal Government through the AGF prayed the apex court in its filled processes to vacate an order of injunction it issued on July 14 which stopped the processes of ceding the oil wells to Imo state.
On September 21, the Federal Government prayed the apex court to dismiss the suit by the Rivers State government seeking to stop it from ceding the 17 oil wells to Imo state.