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SUPREME COURT STRIKES OUT BAYELSA STATE SUIT ON SOKU OILFIELD

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The Supreme Court has struck out a suit filed by the government over the disputed Soku oilfield belonging to .

The apex court said by seeking for it to make Judicial pronouncement on a matter that the Court of Appeal has not even ruled on, the Bayelsa state government was liable of abuse of court processes.

Bayelsa State government had approached the Supreme Court after a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered it to refund the 13 percent derivation it had received over the years from disputed Soku oilfield, to Rivers State.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Justice Ngwuta, who led a panel of 7 justices, wondered why the Bayelsa State government decided to file a suit at the apex court, whereas steps were being taken to challenge the judgement of the Federal High Court at the Court of Appeal.

Justice Ngwuta observed that the Bayelsa State government was jumping the gun and its action was tantamount to abuse of court process. He asserted that there was no way the Supreme Court can make pronouncement on a judgment that was given by a Federal High Court when the appellate court has not done so.

He explained that the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction on a matter relating to a High Court. To this end, he directed the Bayelsa State government to take its grievances to the Court of Appeal.

It was on the basis that the counsel to the Bayelsa State government, Kemsauode Wodu, applied for a formal withdrawal of the suit and it was struck out by the Supreme Court.

It will be recalled that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, while delivering judgement in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/984/19,filed by Attorney-General of Rivers State against the National Boundary Commission, based on documents from relevant government agencies , had declared that the Soku oilfields belong to Rivers State.

Ekwo had noted that the failure and refusal of the National Boundary Commission to rectify the admitted mistake in the 11th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria since 2002 which erroneously showed St Batholomew River instead of River Santa Barbara as the interstate Boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa States ,was a breach of commission’s statutory duty and a flagrant disobedience of the order of the Supreme Court contained in its judgment delivered on 10/7/2012 in Suit Number SC. 106 /2009.

The judge explained that the continued reliance on the said defective 11th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria by the other government agencies/statutory bodies, particularly, the Revenue Mobilisation , Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Accountant General of the Federation in the computation of revenue accruable to Rivers State from the Federation Account has resulted in the continued unjust denial of derivation funds accruing from the Soku oil wells situate within Rivers State to the detriment of the State Government.

Justice Ekwo then directed that notice be served of the decision of the Court on the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Accountant General of the Federation.

The judge said the National Boundary Commission cannot unilateral delineate boundaries between Rivers State and Bayelsa State after the Supreme Court judgment on the matter and also dismissed an objection to the suit raised by the National Boundary Commission because it lacked merit.

Kelvin Ebiri
Special Assistant (media)to the Governor

27 October, 2020.

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Okorocha Reacts to Killing Of Borno Farmers

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Police Nabs 3 Over Invasion Of Okorocha’s Home

Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha on Wednesday reacted to the recent killing of farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents describing it as a great insult to Nigeria.

Okorocha who is also a Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district called on the executive arm of government to rise up and prevent the re-occurrence of the terrible incident.

The killing in Borno State is an eyesore and very provocating. The killing in Borno is just an insult to this nation, a great insult to this country. Action should be taken to stop to show that, this is too much.

So, I urge you the executives to rise up to the occasion and ensure the security of lives and properties in Nigeria, which is the number one constitutional requirement of the government,” he said.

Okorocha made this statement during a visit to Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule over the demise of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Chairman in the state, Philips Shekwo.

Governor Sule had earlier on Tuesday announced that the killer of the APC Chairman has been arrested.

He identified the killer as Muhammad Usman, a notorious kidnapper who confessed to the crime

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Okonjo-Iweala Named Forbes Africa Person Of The Year

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Forbes Africa has named Nigeria’s former Finance Minister and a candidate for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2020.

The announcement was made this on Tuesday via a post on its official handle @forbesafrica.

“The 2020 #AfricanOftheYear Award honoree is…Congratulations to Dr. @NOlweala! Board Chair @Gavi; Board Chair @ARCapicity, gracing the cover of @forbesafrica,” the tweet read

Okonjo-Iweala in response said she is thrilled to be honoured and to be following the footsteps of her brothers Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Nigeria’s Femi Adesina.

“Thrilled to be named @forbesafrica-CNBC 2020 African of the Year following in the footsteps of my great Brothers @PaulKagame and @akin_adesina,” the  66-year-old said.

Okonjo-Iweala also dedicated the award to fellow Africans facing the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This award is for fellow Africans suffering the health & economic impact of Covid19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspire me!” she added.

Okonjo-Iweala’s joined the list of eminent Africans to have received the award.

In 2019, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), won the award for his outstanding work at the bank and a sterling career in agriculture and finance.

Paul Kagame of Rwanda won the same prize in 2018.

Other eminent Nigerians to have bagged the award are Muhammad Sanusi II (2011), former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Aliko Dangote (2014), president of the Dangote Group.

Sanusi won the first edition in 2011, Adesina has claimed the gong twice — 2013 and 2019, while Okonjo-Iweala is also the first Nigerian woman to be honoured with the prize.

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