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Supreme Court awards 17 disputed oil wells to Rivers

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The Supreme Court on Friday resolved the dispute over ownership of 17 oil wells in favour of Rivers State.

Imo and Rivers States had been locked in a fierce battle for the ownership of the oil wells for more than three years.

However, in a unanimous ruling, the apex court declared that the oil wells in Ndoni and Egbema communities belong to Rivers State.

Before the judgement, the Federal Government had arranged that the revenue coming from the said wells should be shared equally between the two states.

Following the emergence of Emeka Ihedioha as a Imo State governor in 2019, a presidential memo directed that all the revenue accruing from the oil wells should go to the state.

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However, in a suit marked SC/1037/2020, Rivers State, through its plaintiff, Joseph Daudu, sought a declaration that the boundary between the two states as delineated on Nigeria administrative map 10, 11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations, are inaccurate and do not represent the legitimate boundaries between the two states

The suit was also meant to seek declaration from the court that all the oil wells within Akri and Mbede communities are within the territory of Rivers State.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who delivered the lead judgment on Friday, held that only Rivers State was entitled to receive the full allocation of the distributable revenue from the oil wells on the basis of the 1390 derivation as contained in section 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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