By Chikezie Odinkemere
SEQUEL to the deferment of the Senate confirmation of Barrister Aloysius Nwagboso the Presidential nominee representing Abia State on the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) pending the resumption of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there have been some misrepresentations and insinuations by disgruntled and self-seeking politicians whose candidates were not nominated by President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua on the NDDC Governing Board.
On Monday, August 3, 2009 some individuals who paraded themselves asÂ leaders and representatives of oil producing communities and Asa Improvement Union in Ukwa-West Local Government of Abia State appeared in the African Independent Television (AIT) morning programme â€˜Focus Nigeriaâ€™ to cast aspersions on Barrister Nwagbosoâ€™s character as well as to question his indigene-ship of oil producing community in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State.
Specifically, they are Mr. Josiah Anolaba,Â the Unionâ€™s self-acclaimed President and a plaintiff in the struck out suit challenging Barrister Nwagbosoâ€™s indigene-ship,Â Mr. Chimaobi, a relation of Okechukwu Nwaubani(a former NDDC representative whose brother(s) particularly Mr. sheriff benefited from Barrister Nwagbosoâ€™s milk of human kindness through skill acquisition training) and one Mr. Eruba.
In a swift reaction, the authentic President-General of Asa Improvement Union Chief Festus Ahukanna and the first Organising Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State Chief (Sir) Don Ubani, KSC, JP appeared on the same AIT programme on Wednesday, August 6, 2009 to disown these personsÂ who are not competent to speak for the Union and Ukwa People, as well as shed light on the position of the Asa Improvement Union, the umbrella organisation of the entire oil-producing community in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State on the nomination of Barrister Nwagboso by President Yarâ€™Adua on the Governing Board of NDDC.
The President of Asa Improvement Union ChiefÂ Ahukanna who made known the position of the entire oil producing communities debunked the insinuations and character assassination against the nomination of Barrister Nwagboso.
He pointed out that the individuals who appeared on the AIT programme of Monday, August 3, 2009 were impostors who have no moral and legal rights to speak for the Union since they are not authentic officials of the Union.
According to him, the Union which has its headquarters at Obehi in Ukwa West Local Government of Abia State has branches in diaspora with one President-General and chairmen in each branch as against a President in each branch and has not mandated anybody to speak on its behalf regarding Barrister Nwagboso and NDDC nomination and as such the utterances of theseÂ individuals should be disregarded and not be interpreted to be the official position of the Union.
Chief Ahukanna who buttressed his argument with documents and several affidavits described Barrister Nwagboso as a bona fide indigene of Umuorgu in Isiala Nteke, Ozar Autonomous Community in Ukwa West LGA, an oil producing community, stressing that it was in realisation of this fact after investigation that he withdrew from the suit instituted against Barrister Nwagboso in 2007 when he was nominated into the second Governing Board of NDDC.
He argued that he took the decision after a thorough investigation and consultation with the Union when he discovered that he was deceived by enemies of progress to believe that Barrister Nwagboso was not from Ukwa West LGA, the oil producing area of Abia State.
According to him, the subject matter was first filed and litigated upon in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/101/2007 on the 22nd day of February, 2007 and was struck out by His Lordship, Hon. Justice B. F. Nyako, Judge, Federal High Court Abuja Judicial Division sitting at Abuja on 27th day of March, 2007. So any other case against him on the same subject matter amounts to an abuse of court process.
Citing a newspaper advertorial placed by elders, principal family members and titled holders of Umu-Ulunwa, Umuorgu, Isiala Nteke, Ozar Autonomous Community, Ukwa West L.G.A Abia State in the Thisday Newspapers of Monday, July 27, 2009 page 83 to further substantiate his argument, Chief Ahukanna said Barrister Nwagboso and the parentsâ€™ indigene-ship has not, is not and cannot be a subject of controversy as their records of birth are clear and unambiguous and in line with Section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
He described the allegations by Barrister Nwagbosoâ€™s detractors to the effect that he was being investigated by the Code of Conduct Bureau as unfounded.
Mr. Odinkemere, a political researcher,Â writes from Awka, AnambraÂ State.