-The five local government areas had sued Akwa Ibom State Government for Non-gazetting of Oro Nation as oil producing community
-Akwa Ibom State Government reportedly seeks out of court settlement to handle the issue
Akwa Ibom State Government has reportedly sought out of court in the exclusion from oil producing communities case against Oro Nation.
The five local government areas in Oro Nation comprising Mbo, Udung Uko, Urue Offong Oruko, Okobo and Oron had dragged the state government before a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, challenging Akwa Ibom State Government over Non-gazetting of Oro Nation as oil producing community, despite the National Assembly’s resolution on the issue eight years ago.
The suit No. FHC/ABJ/215/2020, filed by Dr. Celsius Ukpong and two others on behalf of Oro Nation, had listed Akwa Ibom State, federal government and the Attorney General of the Federation as 4th,5th and 6th respondents respectively.
The case was supposed to come up for hearing before presiding judge, Justice A. A Okeke on November 28, 2020 for further mention on ground that the additional affidavit filed by the applicant’s counsel for leave of court.
The Defendants, especially the Akwa Ibom State Government represented by its Attorney General, are asking for out of court settlement after acknowledging that Oro deserves recognition as oil producing communities.
The President, Oron Union, Abuja Branch, Barr. Remigius Edebianga, was quoted as saying that “modalities to settle out of court will soon be rolled out”.
The Nation had reported that the applicants are seeking the relief of court for a declaration that Oro people are entitled to enjoy the same rights as other oil-bearing communities in the state.
The applicants were also praying that the court should declare that Oro nation is entitled to the share of 13% derivation from their natural resources and an order of court directing Akwa Ibom state government to pay the sum of N4 trillion to the people as compensation and damages for the ‘wrongful and unconstitutional’ exclusion as an oil and gas producing community.