From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has clarified that it never made an order sacking the Prof. Dabiel Pondei led Interim management committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Rather, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said the court only granted leave to the applicants to commence legal actions against interim management board of the NDDC.
Meanwhile, the court has already struck out the suit after the plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Governance withdrew the action.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 12, 2020, acting on the strength of the purported court order, directed the Prof. Pondei led IMC to step aside for an interim sole administrator to take over the affairs of the NDDC.
Court papers cited by Daily Sun revealed that the Prof. Pondei led IMC was never sacked as there was no order of court in that respect.
The court was clear in it’s proceedings of December 8, 2020 that it only granted leave for the applicant to bring the suit against the respondents.
Justice Mohammed explained in the court papers that, “What the court did was simply to grant leave (in other words permission) to the applicants to bring the suit and seek the reliefs listed in their statement which shall be the main suit.
“In any application for judicial review via a motion exparte, an order is not deemed granted unless the court specifically made it so, or it is directed that the grant of leave shall operate as a stay or further orders made upon the leave granted.
“Having regard to the state of affairs, the court now understands where the problem emanated. The whole blame is at the doorstep of one Chibuzor Ezike who filed the court processes. However, he is not the counsel that argued the motion exparte.
“It is therefore directed that the applicant shall use the same medium by which the false news about the court order was published or telecasted to correct the wrong impression created, ” the judge ordered.
It is not clear whether Prof Pondei-led IMC of NDDC will be reinstated by President Buhari since the president was earlier advised by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to sack the interim managers.
However, sources hinted that the Presidency might be working to act on the latest judgement of the court since it has been entered into records.