By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa – The Federal High Court Yenogoa has fixed for May 26 ruling in a case instituted against the federal government by six human rights lawyers for the people of the Niger Delta to control their resources.
Idaye Opi and five other lawyers had in suit No: FHC/YNG/CS7/10/10 listed the Attorney-General of the Federation, the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and the Speaker House of Representatives as respondents.
The other lawyers are: Owupele Philemon, Ilamina Agada, Samuel Effik, Patrick Ederi and Emeka Dite-Ojoko.
The applicants had in a motion on notice brought before the court in pursuant to S.1 of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act: Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 urged the court to compel the respondents for an upward review of the 13 per cent derivation.
Their prayers amongst others include a declaration that the 13 per cent derivation paid by the respondents’ to the peoples of the Niger Delta through their respective state governments on the account of their wealth and natural resources cannot amount to utilizing the same resources for the exclusive benefit of the peoples of the Niger Delta as provided for in the charter.
A declaration that the respondents’ be directed to pay the peoples of the region 90 per cent of the total revenue accruing from oil and gas derivable from their land and natural resources taking into cognizance the long years of neglect.
In the alternative, they want an order directing the respondents to pay the people at least 50 per cent of the total revenue accruing from oil and gas derivable from their land and natural resources in line with the recommendations and reports by various committees set up by the respondents for this purposes and as previously provided for in the 1963 constitution.
Though, the counsel for the 3rd respondent, Temple Amadi before adopting his written address had argued that the reliefs sought by the applicants was not within the contemplation of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
While the 1st applicant, Idaye Opi appeared for himself Ukumbiriowei Saiyo appeared for the 2nd to 6th applicants.
However the presiding Judge, Justice R. M. Aikawa yesterday fixed ruling in the case for May 26, 2011.