Court Returns Soku Oil Wells to Rivers
Christmas just came early if you are a Rivers State indigene. This is because the ownership of much disputed Soku Oil Wells has been given to the state.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ruled that the disputed Soku Oil Wells belong to Rivers State, and not Bayelsa State.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, delivering judgment in a suit instituted by Rivers State in August 2019, ordered the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to rectify the error which designated San Bartholomew River as the boundary between the two states, instead of River Santa Barbara in its 11th Edition of Administrative Map.
The Judge ordered the commission to immediately produce the 12th edition and effect the correction which was said to have surfaced in the 11th Edition of Administrative Map produced by the NBC in 2002.
Recall the interest over the Soku Oil Wells created a bitter relationship between some officials of the Rivers and Bayelsa State Government. In 2012, the former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi accused the then President, Goodluck Jonathan of releasing N17 billion from the Soku Oil Wells to his state, Bayelsa, instead of paying the money into an escrow account, pending the resolution of the boundary dispute.
The Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Gbobo Bobmanuel had that same year led hundreds of chiefs, elders and youths to protest the ceding of the oil wells to Bayelsa State.