Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) has concluded arrangements to challenge the Federal Government in court over the 2020 marginal field bid round and seek appropriate redress to halt the process.
The group had urged the authorities concerned to stay action on the bidding process pending the determination of some contentious issues, but all to no avail. The Forum’s Secretary, Pastor Efiye Bribena, who disclosed the decision, said they had given the final go ahead to their counsel to file the suit challenging the issuance of oil license in court without any further delay.
He explained that the move to pursue the legal option had become imperative for them to find a lasting solution to the plight of the oil producing communities whose means of livelihood had been destroyed as a result of oil exploration activities and the attendant air and water pollution, frequent outbreak of epidemic, deaths, and environmental destruction. “We can no longer continue to watch our people being dehumanized, exploited, humiliated and discriminated against through the auctioning of exploration licenses to the oil companies who mindlessly rape the Niger Delta region through the appropriation of hydrocarbon deposit,” the group stated.
A notice of intention to go to court written by George Ikoli & Okagbue on behalf of the group dated September 21, 2020 and addressed to the office of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum through the Minister of State reads in part: “In view of the foregoing and the seeming apathy of the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as that of the other operators in the oil and gas industry towards the yearnings of our clients and their people, you are by this letter hereby put on notice that our client and the people they represent are now determined to exercise their constitutional right of seeking redress in all available fora and the court of law by instituting legal action against all entities that have continued to subject our client and their communities to inhuman treatment and to activities having deleterious effects on the lives and property of the people.” – The Sun.