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LEDAP, concerned Niger Delta indigenes sue minister, others over constitution of NDDC interim committee

Senator Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs

By Editor …… 6/11/19

 A public interest organisation, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) and some indigenes of Niger Delta region, yesterday filed a legal action at the Federal High Court, Abuja, against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over the appointment of a three-man interim committee to run the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), pending the constitution of a new board.
Along with LEDAP as plaintiffs are: Iruo Onoruvwe, Anatolia Osuji and Walter Abererch, in suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/1/333/2019.

The defendants apart from Akpabio include: Niger Delta Development Commission, Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, and Chief Ibangalore Basset Etang.
The Plaintiffs specifically want the court to declare that the purported appointment of the three-man management committee for the Niger Delta Development Commission, consisting of the 3th -5th defendants is contrary to section 2,(1) and 12 of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act No. 6 2000 ( as amended). 
Addressing a group of judicial correspondents while filing the case in court, the Executive Director of LEDAP, Chino Edmund Obiagwu (SAN), said by virtue of Section 12 of the Commission, its managing director and the executive directors can only be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate in consultation with the House of Representatives. 
He stressed that the first defendant (Minister) has no power or authority to appoint the 3th- 5th defendants as acting managing director or executive directors of the 2nd defendant, (NDDC).
According to the process filed in court, the President has forwarded to the Senate the list of persons he has nominated for appointment into the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission for confirmation in accordance with section 13 of the Commission Act, thus the Minister cannot validly appoint the 3th- 5th defendants as acting MD and executive directors of the commission. 
The plaintiffs, therefore urged the court to make orders nullifying the purported appointments of the 3th- 5th defendants as the acting MD and executive directors of the commission and restraining them and the commission’s management from handing over and /or permitting the 3th- 5th defendants to assume the office of the MD and executive directors of the commission. 
They prayed the court to restrain the Minister from interfering in the affairs of Niger Delta Development Commission in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of the commission. 

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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