Absence of defence counsel stalls hearing on marginal oilfields licensing case

March 10, 2021
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The Federal High Court in Yenagoa on Wednesday adjourned hearing on a suit instituted by some Ijaw leaders, seeking to halt the process of licensing for marginal oilfields in their domains.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Abimbola Awogboro, adjourned till April 20, the case for continuation of hearing, following absence of the defence legal team.

The suit marked PHC/YEN/CS/81/2020 was filed by Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Mrs Rosemary John-Oduone, President, Ijaw Women Connect and Mr Femowei Friend on behalf of Ijaw ethnic nationality.

The plaintiffs joined the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources as well as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources as defendants.

They are urging the court to restrain the defendants from beginning the process of granting licences for the oilfields.

It would be recalled that the defence counsel, Idris Imam, at the last adjourned date on Feb. 20, appealed for time to respond to a counter motion filed by the plaintiff.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Enie Otrofaniowei, had urged the court to strike out the motion filed by the defendants, but the judge ruled that she would adjourn to give the defendants a second chance.

Awogboro awarded a cost of N20,000 against the defendants.

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