Marginal Oilfields: 3 Ijaw Leaders ask Court to halt licensing rounds

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Three Ijaw leaders have approached the Federal High Court in Yenagoa to halt the process leading to bids for marginal oilfields located in their domains pending the determination of their  suit.

The Suit marked No, PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 slated for hearing on Tuesday was filed by Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone President Ijaw Women Connect and Mr Femowei Friend.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hearing on the suit was, however, stall because of the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Abimbola Awogboro.

The suit by the three plaintiffs, on behalf of Ijaw Ethnic Nationality, is seeking the court to restrain the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

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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.

NAN recalls 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.

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