Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Three oil producing states of the Niger Delta yesterday got a landmark judgment at the Supreme Court against multinational oil firms operating in the country.
The three states, including Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom states, had approached the Supreme Court for
interpretation of Section 16(1) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act in suit
number SC964/2016, filed on their behalf by their lead counsel, Lucius Nwosu (SAN).
The section requires the Federal Government to adjust the shares of the revenue accruable to the Federation
whenever the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel.
The judgment, delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro, mandated the federal government to embark on an
upward adjustment of the shares of revenues accruing to the government whenever the price of crude oil exceeds N20 per barrel.
READ ALSO: Buhari visits Seme border tomorrow
Meanwhile, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, celebrated the verdict and described it as a victory for the
littoral states and, indeed, the Nigerian Federation.
In statement by his Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, he said before the first offshore swamp oil
well was discovered under the particular Act by the Nigeria AGIP Energy, the price of crude oil had exceeded $20
per barrel being used as a benchmark to share oil revenues in the state.
He said in spite of the express agreement that shares from the oil revenue accruable to the federal government
should be adjusted, the benchmark being used by the multinational oil firms has been static at $20 per barrel till
The governor, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts from Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, said the judgment
demonstrated, “the primacy of the law in the socio-economic emancipation of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the instrumentality of the government and people of Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.”
Dickson further said the implication of the judgment was increase in revenues accruable to the federating states
under the extant revenue sharing formula.
He commended the Supreme Court for demonstrating the courage to uphold the rule of law in landmark verdicts
required to rekindle the confidence of the deprived people and communities of the Niger Delta and, indeed, the
He said: “We commend the Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. The courageous intervention of the
Supreme Court in this case and other cases is what is needed to bring confidence to the long suffering people and communities of the Niger Delta and the country at large.
This judgment shows that the judiciary is ready and has the courage in deciding cases to uphold the rights of oppressed people. We call on other courts in the judicial system to rise to the occasion in order to give the assurance that oil majors and oil block owners operating in our communities will respect the laws of the land.”
The governor called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the relevant agencies to ensure expeditious
implementation of the judgment in the interest of the government and citizens of the country.
He assured the people of the Niger Delta and the Nigerian Federation that the law could always be used to
redress grievances rather than the recourse to self help.