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Assets sharing: Bayelsa wants N8bn from Rivers

Posted by By Tobi Soniyi, Abuja on 2006/10/02 | Views: 391 |

Assets sharing: Bayelsa wants N8bn from Rivers


The Supreme Court will on December 15 determine whether Bayelsa State is entitled to N8.329bn from the assets jointly inherited from the old Rivers State following its creation in 1996.

The Supreme Court will on December 15 determine whether Bayelsa State is entitled to N8.329bn from the assets jointly inherited from the old Rivers State following its creation in 1996.

The court, last week, adjourned judgment in the suit instituted by the Bayelsa State Government challenging the alleged refusal by the Rivers State Government to transfer to it the value of assets jointly owned by them after hearing arguments from the two states.

Counsel to Bayelsa State, Chief Onomigbo Okporo, urged the court to hold that his client was entitled to N8.329bn being the value of assets which should accrue to it following its creation in 1996.

According to him, both states were joint successors to the assets and liabilities of the old Rivers State.

But the Attorney-General of Rivers State, Mr. H.O. Ajumogobia (SAN), disagreed. He argued that the action begun by Bayelsa State was statute barred because it was not commenced within time stipulated by law for such actions.

Both states had earlier appealed to the court to settle the dispute out of court.

However, they failed to reach any amicable settlement and were forced to surrender the dispute for adjudication.

Bayelsa State had in 2003 dragged Rivers State to the Supreme Court over the sharing of assets.

In its statement of claim, Bayelsa State said despite agreements between the two states, the assets of the two states in possession of Rivers State had not been fully shared out.

The state accused Rivers of non-cooperation or downright refusal to share the assets.

It claimed that various sums of money were due to it from tertiary institutions, plants and equipment, vehicles and companies jointly inherited.

The state claimed that Rivers State continued to manage these companies exclusively without due regard to various agreements on assets sharing between the two states.

The following are the companies listed by Bayelsa State in respect of which it accused Rivers of not implementing the asset sharing agreements between the two states;

Delta Hotel Limited, Pabod Finance and Investment Company Limited, Water Glass Boat Yard, Pabod Supplies Limited Pabod Food Co. Limited, Delta Rubber Co. Limited, Rivers Transport Co. Limited, Rivers State Marine Co. Limited, Rivers State Agric input Supply Limited and others.

But in its statement of defence, Rivers said that all the agreements purportedly entered into between the states in respect of the assets were not legally binding.

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