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Rights Group Files Lawsuit Against Reconstitution Of New NDDC Board

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A nongovernmental organization, NGO, Centre for Human Rights and Anti-corruption Crusade (CHURAC), has filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court sitting in Warri against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawal over the appointment of the new Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC Governing Board.

The group, in Suit No: FHC/WR/CS/100/2019, is praying the Court for the nullification of the purported appointment of the Chairman of the Governing Board for being inconsistent with the NDDC (Establishment) Act, 2000.

The Registered Trustees of Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), are the plaintiff while President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, and President of the Nigerian Senate are the defendants respectively.

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The Plaintiff, in an originating summon deposed to by E. Omoefe-Okoro Eqs, seek determination of Section 4 of the NDDC Act, 2000, in the purported appointment of Dr Pius Odubu from Edo state by the 1st Defendant.

Also, they seek the interpretation of Section 2 &4 of the NDDC Act, whether the 3rd Defendant can confirm the ‘appointment’ of Dr. Odubu as the Chairman of the Governing board.

They further seek the interpretation of Section 4 of the NDDC (Establishment, etc) Act, 2000, to determine if Dr. Odubu who is from Edo State is qualified to be appointed as the chairman of the board.

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The Plaintiff claims/declarations against the defendants as follows:

That the 1st Defendant who has earlier appointed one Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba from Cross River State as the chairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) cannot validly appoint the current chairman, Dr. Pius Odubu from Edo State as chairman.

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That by the combined reading of the provisions of Section 2 &4 of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, the 3rdDefendant cannot confirm the nomination of the chairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

That by the provisions of Section 4 of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, 2000, Dr. Pius Odubu is not qualified to be appointed as chairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

That by the provisions of Section 4 of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, that the appointment of the chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) cannot succeed without following the rotational circle as provided in the Act.

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An order of court compelling the 1st Defendant to withdraw the appointment of the Chairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) forthwith as it is not in compliance with the order of rotation of the office of the chairman of the commission.

An order of perpertual injunction restraining the 3rd Defendant from confirming the appointment of Dr. Pius Odubuof Edo State origin as the Chairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

An order court compelling the 1st Defendant to comply with the provisions of Section 4 of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, 2000 in constituting the new Governing Board members of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC)and appointing an indigene of an oil producing area in Delta State as theChairman of the Governing Board of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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No date is fixed for the hearing of the matter yet as the court is still on vacation.

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