Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered the transfer of Soku oil field from Bayelsa to Rivers State.
The judge, who gave the verdict in a suit filed by the Rivers State government on the boundary dispute between the two states directed the National Boundary Commission to rectify the error in its 11th edition of Administrative Map, which designated San Bartholomew River as the boundary between the two states, instead of River Santa Barbara.
The error, according to reports, surfaced in the 11th edition of Administrative Map produced in 2002 by the boundary commission.
The NBC was said to have in its letter dated July 3, 2002 in response to Rivers State Government’s protest admitted its mistake and promised to rectify it in the 12th edition of the administrative map.
Justice Ekwo ordered the commission to immediately produce the 12th edition of the Administrative Map restoring River Santa Barbara as the inter-state boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa States, as it was in 1996 when Bayelsa State was carved from Rivers State.
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He held that the commission was duty-bound to obey the July 10, 2012 judgment of the Supreme Court which had affirmed River Santa Barbara as the boundary between the states, by immediately correcting its self-admitted error of designating River San Bartholomew as the boundary.
He also ordered that the judgment be served on the relevant statutory bodies, especially, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for immediate re-computation of the accrued oil revenue to Rivers State with the transfer of the Soku oil field from Bayelsa to the state.
With the recent judgement, Rivers State is surely to experience an increase in its revenue from the FAAC, based on the 13 per cent derivation sharing formula for oil producing states.
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