A BAYELSA high court sitting in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, has mandated the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to appear before the Physical Planning Tribunal established by the state government.
The SPDC earlier refused to put up an appearance before the tribunal and through Dafe Akpedeye, SAN, its lawyer, obtained an interim order from the state high court stopping the invitation pending the determination of its application.
The application challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal arguing that it had no powers to invite the company.
The Physical Planning Tribunal was set up in pursuant to the Physical Planning law enacted by the state House of Assembly to deal with issues of town planning, urban and regional planning and payment of levies.
The state dragged the SPDC to the tribunal following allegations that it violated the law by erecting structures and carrying out some development without requisite permission.
The state argued that the company erred in law by refusing to put an appearance at the tribunal first before challenging its jurisdiction.
In his ruling, Justice Young Ogola of the state high court relied on a precedent set by the Court of Appeal which said any party summoned by the court must first appear before raising an objection.
Ogola upheld the position of the state and compelled the company and its directors to personally appear before the tribunal.
— Feb 28, 2017 @ 17:50 GMT