By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”A Federal High Court sitting inÂ Benin, Edo State, has adjourned to July 8, 2010, further hearing in the suit by an indigenous contractor in the Edo State, AC Egbe Nigeria Limited, against the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, over the Oben-Umughun N3.3billion NDDC road project in the oil rich Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Also joined as defendant in the suit is the Attorney General of the Federation.Â It will be recalled that the N3.3billion road contract, earlier awarded to AC Egbe,Â an indigenous contractor in the area, was surprisinglyÂ re-awarded to a foreign contractor, ASKAY Construction Company.
The youths of the community and the leaders led by the Onobore of Oben, accused a top citizen of the state in the Presidency of using his connection to thwart the popular wish of the people.
After several protests by the indigenes of the area, which eventually stalled the work on the road, the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa waded into the matter and advised the leadership of the NDDC to award the contract to the indigenous contractor as requested by the people of the area,Â so as to avoid crisis, which they failed to do, following which AC Egbe Nigeria went to court.
But since then, the NDDC is yet to re_award the contract, forcing AC Egbe to head to the court.