Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio says his state is willing to dialogue with Cross River over the disputed 76 oil wells, which the Supreme Court awarded to Akwa Ibom in a July 10 ruling. Akpabio said this saturday in Uyo during the state’s monthly prayer meeting held at John’s Chaplaincy, in the Governor’s Lodge.
The oil wells had been the subject of a fierce political dispute between the two sister states, which shifted to the court when Cross River went to the Supreme Court to claim ownership of the wells. It joined the federal government as a defendant in the suit, which, among other prayers, sought to compel the federal government and Akwa Ibom State to pay N15.5 billion to Cross River State as 13 per cent derivation from November 2009 to March 2010.
But the apex court ruled by a unanimous decision that the 76 oil wells belonged to Akwa Ibom State. The court also dismissed an application filed by Cross River State a few days to the judgement asking it to stay action on the judgement because Akwa Ibom had, allegedly, presented a doctored map of the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary as part of the documents it submitted to the court. But Akpabio said, “Akwa Ibom is extending a further hand of fellowship that despite the Supreme Court judgement, Akwa Ibom is ready to enter into dialogue with Cross River State to end the issue of the 76 oil wells.”