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Court fixes October 20 for Mudiaga-Odje, RMAFC suit

By Festus Ahon
BENIN—THE Federal High Court presided over by Justice Nnamai, has fixed October 20th, 2009 for the adoption of written addresses and arguments in respect of the suit filed by constitutional lawyer and facilitator of the Niger Delta Democratic Union (NDDU), Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje asking the court to direct the President and the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review upwards the 13% oil derivation pursuant to Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

When the matter came up for hearing on July 21, 2009, Counsel to the Plaintiff, A.O. Adisa Esq., moved his application for extension of time to file his written address which was granted without opposition from the opposing counsel. After granting prayer the court then adjourned the matter to October 20,2009 for the adoption of written addresses as ordered by the Court on July 9, 2009.

Speaking after the Court proceedings, Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje noted that the constructive engagement and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta has also been brought to the temple of justice contemporaneously with those at the public domain.

He stated that for the amnesty to succeed, the Federal Government should make the states of the region set up their respective State Oil Commissions (SOC) with 50% of their 13% oil derivation allocated to them for their funding and advised that these State Oil Commissions which funding should be paid directly from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation .

He said: “This is the only way they can guarantee a long time employment and empowerment unlike the Federal Government’s proposal which will be very brief and short lived. After rehabilitating what next does the Federal Government intend to do? Are you guaranteeing employment for youths?

“We do not want a rehabilitation and empowerment that will last for only a few days or months. We want something for the youths to hold on to almost forever especially when it is from their God given resources.”

It will be recalled that Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje on 28th November, 2008 instituted the present action at the Federal High Court Benin City where he claimed for the following to wit: “ A declaration that by virtue of (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) above, the refusal, neglect failure and omission to review and present as an advise for new revenue allocation formula from the Federation Account by the 3rd Defendant to the 1st Defendant as directed by Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution  together with Section 6 (1) (b) of the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 32 (b) of Item N of the 1999 Constitution is an improper exercise of power and / or unconstitutional.

“A declaration that by virtue of (a), (b), (c) and (d) above, the refusal, neglect failure and omission by the 1st Defendant to review and table proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account to the 4th Defendant as directed by Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution is an improper exercise of powers and / or unconstitutional.

“An order directing the 3rd Defendant as stipulated in Section 6 (1) (b) of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; Section 32(b) of Item N of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Section 162 (2) thereof.

“A declaration that there exist, changing realities and sufficient grounds as contemplated by law to warrant an upward review of the current 13% derivation formula.

“An order directing the 3rd Defendant to forthwith review upwards the 13% derivation for the purposes of tabling proposals for a new revenue allocation formula from the Federation Account pursuant to section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution and in response to the present changing realties as mandatory directed by Section 6(1) (b) of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 32(b) of Item N of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Thereafter, an order directing the 1st Defendant to forthwith table before the 4th Defendant new proposals for revenue allocation for the Federation Account as directed by Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution with an upward review of the 13% derivation to meet the present changing realities as directed by section 6 (1) (b) of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”


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