President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to follow the law and inaugurate the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) he constituted and confirmed by the Senate.
Reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja to the effect that there was no order against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC, the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition said the federal government acted on a non-existing order in the appointment of Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa as sole administrator.
Comrade Damian Nwikinaka, National Chairman of the group, said it was shameful that two “illegal heads” are laying claim to the headship of the agency.
“It underscores the tardiness of the Buhari administration in its disregard for the law. The latest embarrassment is from the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which said in plain terms that the Federal Government lied in stating that it (the court) gave a restraining order against the Interim Management Committee imposed on the NDDC, on which basis Chief (Godswill) Akpabio caused one of his former aides, Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, to take over as sole administrator,” the group said.
The Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition said at the time Mr. Akwa was appointed in December 2020, “we had pointed out the absurdity in replacing an illegal appointment with an equally illegal appointment. Both the IMC and the sole administrator are illegal appointments as they are unknown to the NDDC Act of 2000 as amended, which prescribes that the NDDC shall be managed by a Governing Board with membership from the 9 constituent states.”
The group recalled that the notice announcing Mr. Akwa as sole administrator, made by the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, claimed that: “The development became necessary as a result of a plethora of litigation and a restraining order issued recently against the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC by a Federal High Court in Abuja.”
It said that with the latest court’s clarification that it never gave an order against the IMC, it is clear there is a “fraudulent manipulation” to take control of the NDDC.
it urged President Buhari to put a stop to this “charade by inaugurating the Governing Board of the Commission as provided for in the NDDC Act,” adding: “The unfortunate and unwholesome development where both an illegal IMC and an illegal sole administrator will now be laying claim to the headship of the NDDC is sickening and must not be permitted any further.”