86 Oil Wells: Akwa Ibom wants Supreme Court verdict reversed
Akwa Ibom State has filed an application before the Supreme Court asking it to review its last week's judgment asking the state to cede 86 oil wells to Rivers State.
Governor Godswill Akpabio made this disclosure wednesday.
Akpabio, in a state broadcast, said having carefully studied the judgment, he was convinced that it was given in error and described as “outrageous, unfortunate, misleading and laughable,” speculations that the state would have to pay Rivers State N350 billion under the terms of the judgment.
While urging his people to pray to God for the issue of oil wells not to affect the brotherliness of the two states, the governor stressed that during the period under consideration (April 2009 to date), the state did not earn up to N350 billion from the over 980 oil wells currently attributed to it.
He said if the judgment was to subsist, it was Rivers State that would be obligated to make refunds to his state after the reconciliation of accounts revenue it collected “arbitrarily” from January 2005 to March 2009, a period of 40 months.
According to him, “We have carefully studied the judgment and we are convinced that the judgment was given in error, and we have accordingly filed for a review of that judgment. I, therefore, urge all citizens of Akwa Ibom State to remain calm and not to be taken in by sensational media reports which have tended to confuse issues.
“At the advent of this administration, we wrote to late President Umaru Yar'Adua to protest the injustice of the so-called political solution, which had no basis in law that purportedly transferred some of our oil wells to Rivers State.
“The late President referred the petition to a committee of government agencies consisting of the National Boundary Commission (NBC), Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) for necessary action.
“On the bases of law and technical consideration, these agencies determined that those oil wells should be returned to the original owners, being Akwa Ibom State.”
The governor argued that when the political solution referred to by the justices of the Supreme Court was brokered in 2006 by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, revenue from the 172 oil wells earlier taken arbitrarily from Akwa Ibom State by Rivers State were to be shared on a 50-50 basis between both states as from 2005.
He added that instead, the Rivers State government kept the 172 oil wells and collected all the revenue there from and all the revenue that accrued from the 172 oil wells from January 2005 to March 2009.
While speaking on the mayhem that claimed lives in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo on Monday, the governor said no responsible government would condone such lawlessness and wanton destruction of lives and properties.
He commended security agencies for bringing the situation under control, promising that those arrested would be charged to court in order to bring them to justice.
“The law as we know it, is no respecter of persons, and all those who collaborated, sponsored or were complicit in these attacks would be docked for trial no matter how highly placed they are or no matter who they think they are in the society,” the governor said.
The Supreme Court had last Friday ordered Akwa Ibom State to transfer to Rivers State 86 oil wells with revenues which had accrued from the wells from April 2009 to date.