The battle for the ownership of the Soku oil fields in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and the revenue accruing from it has been renewed by Rivers and Bayelsa states respectively.
This rancour between the states was renewed after the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Duoye Diri faulted the payment of the revenue from the Oil Well to Rivers despite the state’s appeal against a judgement ceding the resource to Rivers while his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike disagreed.
The Rivers State Governor, Wike described Diri’s call to halt the ongoing remittance of Soku’s revenue to Rivers as unfortunate.
Recall that the Federal High Court in December 2019 declared that the oil wells belong to Rivers.
It ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to pay revenue from the oil fields to the state.
While addressing a delegation of RMAFC led by Alhaji Mohammed Usman who visited him in Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike insisted that the oil wells belonged to Rivers.
He urged RMAFC to continue paying the revenue to his state.
Wike said: “It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State Governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku Oil Well.
“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication by situating Soku Oil Well in Bayelsa State.
“They were, therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to correct it, we had to go back to the Federal High Court.
“The court, in its wisdom, directed that all revenue accruing from Soku Oil Well should be paid to Rivers State. That is the position.
“For Bayelsa State governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.
“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement.”
Diri, who had earlier the RMAFC delegation in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, flayed the deductions in favour of Rivers.
He said the action was tantamount to ceding Bayelsa territory indirectly to Rivers.
He urged the commission to revisit its decision until the Supreme Court decides the boundary dispute.
He lamented that the action significantly affected the state’s allocation for this month.