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86 OIL WELLS JUDGEMENT: WE WON'T PAY RIVERS A DIME-AKPABIO

By NBF News
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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio has said the Supreme Court judgment, which gave 86 oil wells to Rivers State was a judgment given in error.

Akpabio also said the state owed Rivers State nothing, adding that it was the latter which should refund the amount it amassed from the contentious oil wells between 2006 and 2009, which amounted to about N75 billion. He further said Akwa Ibom could not go broke because of eventual loss of the oil wells.

In a television and radio broadcast yesterday, the governor said it was equally erroneous to assume that Akwa Ibom had made N350 billion between April 2009 and February 2011, a period of 22 months that it derived revenue from the 86 oil wells, even though Rivers State, which had misappropriated the oil wells for a longer period did not make such an amount.

'For avoidance of doubt, even if this regrettable judgment were to subsist, we will not owe River State a dime. This is because when the political solution referred to by the eminent judges of the Supreme Court was brokered in 2004 by the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, revenue from 172 oil wells earlier arbitrarily taken from Akwa Ibom State by Rivers State were to be shared on fifty-fifty basis between both states as from 2006.

'However, Rivers State kept the 172 oil wells and collected all the revenue which accrued from the oil from 2006 to 2009. It should be noted that the total sum derived from the 86 oil wells is a far cry from N350 billion.

According to the judgment, we are owing Rivers revenue we collected between april 2009 and February 2011, a period of 22 months, whereas Rivers is owing us revenue they collected arbitrarily from November, 2006 to March 2009, a period of 28 months, and which came up to N75 billion. 'We are therefore, demanding that Rivers State returns this revenue to us with interest at the going rate, even as we proceed with our request for a reversal of the judgment. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reconsider the matter and we urge all our citizens to remain calm.'

Akpabio said at the advent of his administration, the state drew the Federal Government's attention to the 86 oil wells which were in Akwa Ibom territory but the state did not derive any revenue from them.

He said a committee of federal agencies, consisting of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) , Office of the Surveyor General and the Department of Petroleum Resources, considered the merits and demerits of the state's petition and in their wisdom, based on the constitution and history on the case, determined that those oil wells belonged to Akwa Ibom, which should receive the revenue there from.