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Imo vs Rivers: Supreme Court restrains Federal Government from ceding oil wells to Imo

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted an order injunction stopping the federal government and its agencies from ceding 17 disputed oil wells located at Akri and Mbede to Imo State.

The order was granted by the apex court was following a request by Rivers State which is also making claims to the ownership of the two communities the oil wells are located.

In the ruling, the Supreme Court restrained the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Imo State, from taking further action on the ownership of the Oil Wells, till the disputes surrounding them are resolved.
The apex court also barred the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from approving, implementing or giving effect in any manner.

The apex court also barred the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and the Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from approving, implementing, or giving effect in any manner to a letter from RMAFC office, with reference number RMC/O&G/47/1/264 dated July 1, 2021, which cancelled the equal sharing of proceeds from the 17 oil wells by Rivers and Imo states.

The apex court subsequently fixed September 21, 2021, for a hearing of the substantive matter.

Rivers state through its Attorney General had dragged the AGF and the Attorney General of Imo state before the Supreme Court praying for a declaration that the boundary between Rivers state and Imo state, as delineated on Nigeria administrative map, 10, 11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations are inaccurate, incorrect and do not represent the legitimate and lawful boundaries between Rivers and Imo State.

Plaintiff also sought a declaration that as far as Nigeria’s administrative map 10,11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations relate to the boundaries between Rivers and Imo, the said maps are unlawful and void, cannot be relied on to determine the extent of the territorial governmental jurisdiction of Rivers state and to determine the revenue accruing to Rivers state from the federation account, including the application of the principle of derivation and other revenue allocation principles as contained in the 1999 Constitution.

Rivers state therefore sought an order of mandatory injunction directing the AGF to calculate, to its satisfaction, and refund to it all revenue that has been wrongly attributed to or paid to Imo state on account of the limit or extent of their territories, including earnings due to it from revenue derived from Akri and Mbede oil wells.

The plaintiff also applied for another order of mandatory injunction directing AGF to produce an administrative map bearing the correct boundary between Rivers and Imo State.

It sought the sum of N500,000,000 as the cost of prosecuting the matter.

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