The Oasis Reporters
October 20, 2020
The recent decision of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss a suit seeking the sack of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been described as having “exposed the ploys of the detractors of the Niger Delta region”, says a press statement released by the Commission, signed by Charles Obi Odili, Director, Corporate Affairs.
The press statement further said that, “We had on several occasions called attention to the fact that some mischievous groups were being used to castigate and malign the NDDC. These nefarious acts came to the fore during the National Assembly hearings on the activities of the Commission.
“These critics had taken their fallacious tales to the security agencies and swamped the media space with wicked and malicious lies to discredit the IMC.
“The suit filed by Lucky Akharame, Adward Brisibe, Youths Arise for Undiluted Leadership and Development Initiative and Riverrun Development Initiative, was part of these devious campaigns against the Niger Delta people.
The litigants had questioned the legality of the IMC and wanted the court to sack the members, as well as restrain the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio from recognizing the interim management.
“We are relieved that Justice Inyang Ekwo upheld the law and dismissed the case, noting that the plaintiffs did not have the locus standi to file the suit challenging the action of government agencies.
He stated that the suit was an invitation to trample on the sacred principle of separation of power, adding that it was only meant to encourage the court to usurp the executive powers of President Mohammed Buhari to appoint an interim management board.”
According to the judge, “if there is any breach or infraction of the provisions of the NDDC Act, it is the stakeholders specifically mentioned in Section 2(1) that are clothed with the locus standi to take an action in court on any matter concerning or pertaining to the appointment of Managing Director, Executive Directors and members of the Management Board of the NDDC.”
This particular case exemplifies the distractions we have had to deal with in our efforts to reposition and refocus the NDDC as the foremost interventionist agency in the Niger Delta region.
Nevertheless, we remain determined to discharge the responsibilities thrust upon us by Mr. President to re-invent the Commission and achieve the mandate of ensuring a rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region”.