The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has restrained the Federal Government from issuing licences on marginal oilfields in the Niger Delta pending the determination of a pending suit.
Marginal fields are shallow fields which may not produce crude oil in commercial quantity immediately and would require further development to boost volume.
Some Ijaw leaders approached the court in 2020 seeking to halt licensing on marginal oilfields located in their domains.
Following setbacks and delays in the suit, however, the Federal Government announced bid winners on the fields on June 1, 2021.
Presiding Justice Isa Dashen granted the restraining order in favour of the Ijaw leaders.
Ijaw leaders who filed the suit are Chief Brown Agu (Opu Agu VIII), Rosemary John-Oduone, President Ijaw Women Connect and Femowei Friend on behalf of themselves and the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources are defendants in the suit.
The Ijaw leaders asked the court to restrain the Federal Government from further advertising and receiving bids in respect of the marginal fields.
They also asked the court to restrain the Federal Government from approving licences in respect of the marginal fields.
Justice Dashen inherited the case from Justice Abimbola Awogboro following the latter’s transfer to the Lagos Division of the Court.
The case has been fixed for June 8 for the continuation of the hearing and ruling on pending motions before the court.