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); Rosemary John-Oduone, President Ijaw Women Connect; and Femowei Friend.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that hearing on the suit was, however, stalled 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; Minister of Petroleum Resources; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
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 the Marginal fields listed, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
NAN recalls that the Department of Petroleum Resources had on April 6, 2020 announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licenses it issued to indigenous oil firms.
Oil Mining Lease 46, held by Bayelsa State Government and located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa State, won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR, was among the licences revoked for being dormant for over five years.