Ijaw Leaders Ask Court To Nullify Marginal Oil Field Licences

Some Ijaw leaders have asked the federal high court in Yenagoa to cancel the marginal oil field licences issued by the federal government on June 28.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks developed by indigenous companies not exploited in the last ten years.

The leaders, on Thursday, approached the court, claiming the licences were issued in breach of a restraining order of the court, according to NAN.

The plaintiffs are Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Rosemary John-Oduone, president, Ijaw Women Connect and Femowei Friend on behalf of themselves and the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

Their lawyer, Enie Otrofanowei, contended that the ministry of petroleum resources flouted an April 5 injunctive order of the court by granting the licences.

“We are seeking to invalidate or set aside the licences, and we seek a short adjournment since the defendants are absent today to argue our application,” Otrofanowei said.

Isa Dashen, the judge, ordered that hearing notices be issued to all the defendants and adjourned the case to October 5.

In 2020, the Ijaw leaders approached the court seeking to halt licensing on marginal oil fields located in their areas.

The plaintiff in the suit marked PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 asked the court to restrain the respondents from advertising, receiving and approving bids in respect of marginal fields.

The court, in its order issued on April 5, 2022, restrained the federal government from issuing licences for marginal oilfields in the Niger Delta pending the determination of the suit filed by the plaintiffs.

The federal government issued the petroleum prospecting licences (PPL) in June.

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