By Henry Ojelu
Human rights activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, and two other Itsekiri leaders, Rev Jackson Omasanjuwa and Edward Omagbemi have dragged the Federal Government before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over the appointment of Olorogun Okumagba as the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The three prominent community leaders are suing the Federal Government on behalf of themselves and Ugbodede, Bateren and Omadino communities in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Other defendants in the suit are NDDC; National Assembly; Chairman, NDDC board, Dr. Pius Odubu, and Attorney-General of the Federation.
In the suit, the community leaders are asking the court to determine whether by virtue of Section 12 of the NDCC Act, it was proper for the Federal Government to have appointed Okumagba as Managing Director of NDCC.
The plaintiffs are also asking the court to determine whether it was proper for the Federal Government to have appointed Odubu, who hails from Edo State as Chairman, NDCC Governing Board.
Considering the fact that Delta State is next in line to produce the chairman of NDDC board based on rotational system amongst member states, the plaintiffs are asking the court for a declaration that the Federal Government was under obligation to appoint an indigene of Delta State as Chairman of NDDC governing board.
Other reliefs sought by the plaintiffs include: A declaration that by virtue of section 12 of Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act, 2000, Act No 6 of the Federation of Nigeria, the appointment of the 5th defendant who is not from an oil-producing community of Delta State as the Managing Director of the 2nd defendant by the 5th defendant is not proper, null and void.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd defendant, either by itself, officers, privies, agents or through any person or body however from accepting, screening and/or continuing the 4th and 5th defendants who were appointed by the 1st defendant as the Chairman of the Governing Board and Managing Director respectively of the 2nd defendant.
“An order directing the 1st defendant to appoint an indigene of an Oil Producing Area of Delta State as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the 2nd defendant in compliance with the clear provision of Section 4 of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act, 2000 Act No 6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.”
“An Order directing the 1st Defendant to appoint an Itsekiri Indigene from an oil-producing area in Delta State as the Managing Director of the 2”d Defendant in compliance with section 12 of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act, 2000 Act No 6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. “