CORDELIA IFEOMA JOMBO-OFO, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appellants herein are appealing against the decision of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa (hereinafter to be referred to as the trial/lower Court), presided over by Hon. Justice C. E. Archibong J., delivered on 16th January, 2013, in suit No. FHC/YNG/CS/19/2011.
The respondents who at the lower Court were the plaintiffs took out a specially endorsed writ of summons on 12th April, 2011 against the appellants being defendants thereat. In their statement of claim dated 12th April, 2011, particularly at paragraph 15 thereof, the respondents had sought thus against the appellants:
15. The plaintiffs desire to recover all that is due to them as a host community in the Shell EA Field. Wherefore the plaintiffs claim against the defendants as follows:
1. A DECLARATION that the plaintiffs (sic) community is an autonomous community duly registered with the Bayelsa State Government and is entitled to all the benefits, r…