THE Niger Delta Project Group (NDPG) has complained to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, that efforts to seek legal address over grievances against the revenue sharing principle in Nigeria were being frustrated by the Federal Government.
NDPG wants oil and gas producing states to be allowed to control 90 per cent of the total revenue accruable from the resources. In the petition, the group accused the Nigerian government of human rights abuses and other ill-treatment of the oil areas.
Recently, a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, by some Niger Delta indigenes, including Idaye Opi, Owupele Philemon, Ilamina Agada, Samuel Effik, Patrick Ederi, and Emeka Dite Ojoko for themselves and on behalf of the people of the region, was dismissed by Justice R.M. Aikawa for lack of jurisdiction to hear the case.
In a letter of complaint to the Secretary of the Human Rights Council Complain Procedure and made available to The Guardian, Owupele Philemon on behalf of others, explained that a Federal High Court in Yenegoa, delivered a judgment on June 29, 2011, after several adjournments against the expectations of the indigenes of the oil-producing states.
“The presiding judge, after commending the counsel in the matter, declined jurisdiction despite obvious facts and law to the contrary. However, we shall appeal the decision in court and commence the preparation of the court processes”, said Philemon.
He appealed to the United Nations to adhere to its assurance to objectively investigate the complaint about human rights abuses against the Federal Government.
The NDPG had contended that the provisions of the Petroleum Act and its legislative companion, the Land Use Act, are obnoxious legislations enacted by the Nigerian state to undo and over-reach the proprietary interests of the peoples of the region who are minorities in Nigeria.
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