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17 oil well dispute: Rivers State emerge victorious over Imo in supreme court verdict

Abuja—The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ruled in favour of Rivers state over a disputed 17 oil wells with Imo state, Sahara reporters reports.

The apex court in its verdict delivered on Friday, stated that the oil wells located in Ndoni and Egbema communities respectively belong to Rivers State.

The counsel to the Rivers state Government, Joseph Daudu had prayed the court rule in favour of the state because historical evidence from 1927 to date indicates that the oil wells belong to the state.

He drew the attention of the court to the boundary adjustment paper of 1976 in which Ndoni and Egbema were confirmed to belong to Rivers state.

The Rivers State counsel also disagreed with the Attorney-General of the Federation’s contention that the dispute should have been heard in a Federal High Court rather than the Supreme Court because locals should have testified orally in the matter.

According to Daudu, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction and may easily examine all accessible historical documents dating back to the colonial era to identify which state owns the oil wells.

There was previously a political arrangement put in place by the Nigerian government for the revenue from the disputed wells to be shared equally between the two states.

However, when Emeka Ihedioha became governor in 2019, a presidential memo directed that all the revenue should go to Imo. The Rivers state government swiftly filed a suit against the presidential directive.

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