Marginal Oilfields licencing: Court adjourns suit by Ijaw Leaders
By Akioma Amos, Yenogoa
The Federal High Court Yenagoa, on Friday adjourned a suit by Ijaw leaders seeking to halt the process leading to licensing for marginal oilfields located in their domains pending the determination of their suit.
The Suit marked No, PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 was filed by Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone President Ijaw Women Connect and Mr Femowei Friend.
The presiding judge, Justice Abimbola Awogboro adjourned the case to March 10 for continuation of hearing following an appeal by the defense counsel Idris Imam for time to respond to a motion.
Counsel to the Plaintiffs Emie Trofanowei had opposed the request for adjournment on the grounds that it was frivolous adding that the motion the defense was seeking time to respond to had been served on them for weeks.
The suit by the three plaintiffs, on behalf of Ijaw Ethnic Nationality.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who are defendants in the suit.
In a Motion on Notice, the plaintiffs are seeking for an order restraining the defendants/Respondents from further advertising or receiving bids in respect of Marginal Fields pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit with No. PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020.
They also want the court to restrain the defendants/ Respondents from issuing or approving any licence in respect of of the Marginal fields listed, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
It will be recalled that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had on 6 April, 2020 announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licenses it issued to indigenous oil firms.
Oil Mining Lease (OML) 46 held by Bayelsa government, and located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa, won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR was among the licences revoked for being dormant for over five years.