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Youths urge court to stop tenure extension of NDDC board


Concerned Niger Delta Youths have challenged the tenure extension of board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Kenneth Uwadinjo Osemha, said board appointments into the commission are based on due process, and not political interests.The suit, FHC/AIJ/C5/1245/2017 is seeking to summon the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC, over the appointment of a substantive managing director for the commission.

The originating summons asked the court to interpret Section 3 of the NDDC Act 2006/2012, as regards the appointment of managing director and other principal officers of the NDDC.

Osemha disclosed that the NDDC Act stipulates that appointments into the commission are based on the state with the highest production of crude oil.He explained that in that order of priority, Akwa Ibom State, having finished its tenure should relinquish power to Bayelsa State.The counsel urged the court to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from reappointing the present managing director of the NDDC, because he is not from Bayelsa State.

He told the court that the first and third defendant had been served the summons, adding that the second defendant refused to accept the processes, but referred them to the ministry’s head office in Port Harcourt.

Justice Anwuri Chikere of the Federal High Court 4 however, directed that the summons be served at the Port Harcourt of the second defendant.He adjourned the matter till May 21, 2018 to enable the counsel to report back on the service.

The plaintiff also asked the court to direct the first, second and third defendants to appear before it 30days after they had been served the summons, inclusive of the day of such service.

They further sought an order to halt attempts by the Federal Government to reappoint the outgoing, or ex-managing director, executive director, finance and the executive director in charge of projects at the commission.The youths cautioned that it would be a mockery of the NDDC Act 2000, to disregard the rational principle of appointments, as envisaged in its intent and spirit.

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