Daniels Igoni, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government has said Tuesday’s Supreme Court verdict on the matter it instituted over the disputed Soku oil wells with neighbouring Rivers State does not amount to a resolution of the dispute.
The Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba, in a statement on Friday said the apex court’s ruling did not cede the oil wells or area to Rivers, contrary to media reports.
Duba said the clarification was necessary in order to dispel erroneous reports and misinformation.
He explained that the Supreme Court, by its decision, only advised Bayelsa State to await the ruling of the Appeal Court where it also instituted an appeal seeking to nullify the judgement of the Federal High Court delivered in favour of Rivers on the disputed oil wells.
He further stated that the apex court did not rule on the substance of the matter brought before it as it felt it was premature to do so when the appellate court had not decided on the same issue.
Duba said, “Justice Sylvester Ngwuta felt by filing another application before the Supreme Court on a similar matter was an abuse of court process. So, the apex court, in its wisdom, felt it was appropriate for the Appeal Court to determine the matter before we could approach the highest court of the land, if necessary. That is the exact position.
“It is, therefore, wrong for anyone to create the erroneous impression that the apex court gave judgement in favour of Rivers when that was not the case.
“Besides, the dispute does not amount to strain in the relationship between Bayelsa and Rivers states. The issue for determination is purely administrative.”
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