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OML 11: RSG Wins Suit Against Shell …Warns IOCs Over Provision Of Poor Quality Water To Host Communities

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The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt and presided over by Hon. Justice Charles Nwogu, yesterday, delivered judgement in favour of the state government in suit No.PHC/652/CS/2020 filed by the Attorney General of Rivers State against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited.
The Rivers State Government had claimed that SPDC Defendant’s/Judgment Debtor Interest in its fixed landed assets comprised in Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in Oil Mining Lease No. 11 (OML 11) sold to the Claimant pursuant to the execution of the combined court judgments in Suit No. FHC/PH/231/2001; CA/PH/396/2012 and the Supreme Court Appeal No.SC 731/2017 is consistent with the command contained in Section 287(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
The Claimants further claimed that “the continued defiant appropriation (despite the completed sale) of possessory and usufructuary, including pecuniary accruals in respect of its fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 infringes on the Claimant’s vested respective rights to title, and pecuniary interests therein.
“That SPDC is bound to render accounts to and pay over to the Claimant all accruals from the Defendant’s continued appropriation of the pecuniary interests in the said OML 11, including arrears of commercial rents for their use of the said property from the date the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State issued title documents thereon to the Claimant until the Defendant peaceably yields up possession thereof”.
The court, in a considered judgment, upheld the claims of the Rivers State Government in the following terms: “SPDC Judgment Debtor’s interests in its fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 sold to the Claimant pursuant to the execution of the combined court judgments in Suit No. FHC/PH/231/2001; CA/PH/396/2012 and the Supreme Court Appeal No. SC 731/2017 is consistent with the command contained in Section 287(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“That the Defendant’s continued defiant appropriation(despite the completed sale) of possessory and usufructuary rights, including pecuniary accruals in respect of its fixed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 infringes on the Claimant’s vested respective rights to title and pecuniary interests therein.
“Also that the Defendant is bound to render accounts to and pay over to the Claimant all accruals from the Defendant’s continued appropriation of the pecuniary interests in the said OML 11, including arrears of commercial rents for their use of the Kidney Island Base and Jetty from the date the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State issued title documents thereon to the Claimant until the Defendant peaceably yields up possession thereof.
“That the Claimant ought to be accorded with all interests, rights, privileges and benefits derivable from its acquisition of the Defendant’s fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 in accordance with the title documents issued by the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State.
“That the Claimant is entitled to the Defendant’s fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and the license in lands comprised in OML 11 in accordance with the title documents issued by the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State.
“An Order compelling the Defendant, their agents, assigns, representatives, privies or whosoever called to accord the Claimant with all rights, privileges and benefits accruable from its purchase of Defendant’s fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 in accordance with the title documents issued by the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State”.
The court directed the Defendant to account for and handover to the Claimant all monetary accruals it had made from its continued appropriation of the fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11 from the date the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Rivers State issued title documents thereon to the Claimant until the Defendant peaceably yields up possession thereof.
The court also perpetually restrained the Defendant, their agents, assigns, representatives, privies or howsoever called from embarking on acts or omissions adverse to the title, right and interest of the Claimant over the fixed landed assets comprised in its Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests in lands comprised in OML 11.
The court further condemned SPDC’s continued violation of the legal process by her continued occupation of the said Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and other properties already acquired by the Rivers State Government.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Government has warned oil multinational companies and international donors to stop drilling mono pumps in the course of donating water to their host communities.
The Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, who said this during an inspection of water facilities in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, restated the commitment of the state government to package a model water treatment plant for the state.
According to him, the treatment plant was a deliberate effort by the government to check all incidences of water-borne diseases in the state.
Gogo-Jaja said oil companies must always approach the Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development for guidance in the course of providing water to their host communities.
The commissioner also expressed dissatisfaction with the poor handling of the network connection of the project by the contractors, regretting that such actions by the contractor would cost the state government extra funds in correcting the anomalies to enable residents have potable drinking water.
Gogo-Jaja also admonished the people of Abonnema to exercise patience, particularly those who have not been connected yet to the water facility.
He cautioned consumers association in the area against the exploitation of the people in the guise of connecting water to homes and residences, warning that they risked being dissolved and replaced with people that would render selfless services to the communities.
The commissioner thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for his efforts to ensure that Abonnema people have access to potable drinking water.

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Host Community Set To Resolve Chieftaincy Tussles

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Otuasega community of Ogbia council area of Bayelsa State has said they were willing to resolve the protracted chieftaincy tussle bedeviling the community before August this year.
The Tide learnt this at the weekend by the community’s interim leader and CDC chairman, Mr Igbuasi Gbanibebi.
Igbuasi who also doubles as the chief security officer of the SPDC’s host community hinted that the community’s leadership has resolved to end all contentious court cases on who becomes the Paramount ruler of the community.
He regretted that the suits instituted by the contenders to the throne, owing to the 2018 disputed chieftaincy election of the community have impeded development.
“We’ve decided as a community to withdraw all the cases concerning our chieftaincy election from court.
Though our tenure as CDC and community leadership would end by August this year, we’re resolve to end all cases and install a paramount ruler before we leave office on or before August”, he said.
“We’re talking to the contenders to the throne, hopefully they’re are cooperating, but should they refused, we would ask all of them to stop drawing us backwards and use the old traditional means or ask the clergy in the community to fast and pray, and then tell us whom God has ordained as our Paramount ruler”, he added.
Igbuasi who also spoke on the prevailing peace in the community in the absent of a substantive monarch commended the joint task force, JTF, Police and the community’s own vigilante service for sustaining the peace in the area.

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Niger Delta

Diri Solicits S’Korea’s Partnership On Agric, Infrastructure Dev

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has sought the partnership and support of South Korea in areas of agricultural, maritime and infrastructure development of the state.
At a meeting with the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, in Abuja, Governor Diri said given its maritime similarity with Bayelsa State, the state also needed the South Korean expertise and partnership in developing deep-sea fishing, aquaculture and rice cultivation.
His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, quoted the governor as saying that the state was equally interested in partnership in education, science and technology as well as in oil and gas.
He said his administration pays serious attention to the issue of security as top priority and has conscientiously worked with the security agencies to make Bayelsa and its maritime domain safer than before.
“The purpose of this meeting is to explore areas of economic partnership and seek the expertise of South Korea in developing our state and its economy.
“Bayelsa has huge potential in agriculture and marine resources. We seek foreign investment in aquaculture and deep-sea fishing. Our terrain is good for aquaculture to thrive as well as rice cultivation and production with the large expanse of land already in Peremabiri and Sampou. We are trying to revive the culture of farming in our state. The government is interested in commercial farming as against the culture of subsistence farming that a lot of our people engage in”, he said.
“The South Korean expertise is also required in the production of plastics, in science and technology and the oil and gas sector. Our administration is taking deliberate steps to open up the state. This can be done through massive road construction and development of infrastructure, including how to control the perennial flooding in our state. We seek your partnership and expertise too in this area”, he added.
Governor Diri noted that such partnership would help in empowering youths of the state that would be given training in order to check youth restiveness and militancy.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Anambra Guber Poll: Bayelsa Deputy Gov Predicts Victory For PDP

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Ahead of the November 6 Governorship Election in Anambra State, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would coast home to victory in the south-east state.
Ewhrudjakpo expressed the optimism at the state Party Secretariat in Awka shortly after leading a committee to conduct the election of local government delegates for the forthcoming PDP primaries in Anambra State.
A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor was quoted as, describing the exercise as smooth and successful, noting that 21 delegates were elected in the process.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who is the Chairman of the committee, disclosed that additional 21 physically challenged persons representing the 21 local government areas of the state were also chosen by members of the party.
While expressing delight at the show of unity and cooperation among the various stakeholders of the PDP in the state, he maintained that there were strong prospects, that the party has what it takes to win the November 6 election.
According to the Bayelsa Deputy Governor, the PDP delegates were elected in a peaceful, free and fair manner under the supervision of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He added that as a law abiding party, the PDP would soon conduct its primaries in accordance with the timeline provided by INEC and give whoever emerges as its flag bearer all the needed support with a view to winning the election.
He thanked the National chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus, the Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Waziri Tambuwal and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state for giving him and members of the Committee the opportunity to serve the party.
“It has been a very successful programme. As you can see, there is no protest going on. Everywhere is peaceful and calm. So we have successfully completed the exercise, which was witnessed by INEC. Members of our party have freely elected 21 delegates of their choice and also 21 physically challenged persons to represent those who are going to participate in the primaries”, he said.

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