Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has barred the Federal Government from issuing licences for marginal oilfields in the Niger Delta, pending determination of a pending suit.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Isa Dashen, who granted the injunction, in a suit No. PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 ordered the federal government to desist from further advertising and receiving bids in respect of the marginal fields.
Some Ijaw leaders had in 2020 approached the court seeking to halt licensing of marginal oilfields located in their domains, but following setbacks and delays suffered by the suit, the bid winners were announced on June 1, 2021.
Plaintiffs in the suit are Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone, President Ijaw Women Connect and Mr Femowei Friend on behalf of themselves and the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality.
While the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources are defendants in the suit.
The reliefs sought and granted by the court are: “That the respondents be restrained from further advertising and receiving bids in respect of the marginal fields.
“The defendants are also restrained from approving licences in respect of the marginal fields,”
Justice Isa Dashen inherited the case from Justice Abimbola Awogboro, following her transfer to the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
Meanwhile the case has been fixed for June 8th 2022 for continuation of hearing and ruling on pending motions before the court.
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