A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital has stopped the Buhari administration from issuing further licenses for marginal oil fields in the Niger Delta pending the determination of a pending suit.
This was confirmed to Naija News on Friday by a public interest and human rights lawyer, Sammy Etuk.
He explained that some Ijaw leaders in 2020 approached the court, praying it to halt licensing of marginal oilfields located in their domains.
But, following setbacks and delays suffered by the suit, the bid winners were announced on June 1, 2021.
Etuk said Justice Isa Dashen on Thursday, granted the injunction in favour of the plaintiffs.
Plaintiff in Suit No: PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 are Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone, President Ijaw Women Connect and Mr Femowei Friend on behalf of themselves and the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources are defendants in the suit.
The reliefs sought and granted by the court are that the respondents be restrained from further advertising and receiving bids in respect of the marginal fields.
“The defendants are also restrained from approving licenses in respect of the marginal fields.”
The case has been fixed for June 8 for continuation of hearing and ruling on pending motions before the court.
In the meantime, a coalition of Ijaw groups in a reaction to the development in a statement urged the parties in the shit to obey and comply with the order of court.
“It has come to the attention of this coalition of Ijaw interest groups that following a suit filed by some patriotic Ijaw sons and daughter, the Federal High Court has granted an injunction restraining the Minister of Petroleum/Federal Government from proceeding any further with the award of marginal oil field licenses pending the conclusion of the lawsuit.
“It is our expectation that all citizens and corporate organizations abide by this ruling’’, says the coalition.