By Gabriel Olawale
Rights advocate, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari; Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Senate President, Ahmad Lawal from inaugurating a new board for Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, pending the release of the findings of the forensic audit of the agency.
Other defendants in the suit are Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, GodswillAkpabio, and Clerk of the National Assembly.
The plaintiff, in the suit by her counsel, wants the court to stop the defendants from raising a new board for the commission except the forensic audit report is made public.
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She is praying the court to determine whether, by the provisions of the NDDC Act 2017, President Buhari can exercise his powers, control and supervision over the NDDC by issuing a directive ordering a forensic audit of the activities of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 and whether the president is bound to receive the report of the forensic audit and act on same before taking any further steps in constituting or reconstituting the board for the NDDC.
She, consequently, wants the court to restrain President Buhari from constituting or reconstituting the board for NDDC or appointing anybody or person into board pending the completion of the forensic audit ordered by him (Buhari) and a receipt of the said report from Akpabio.
“An order of this court restraining the President from acting on any advice with regard to constituting the NDDC board without receiving a copy of the audited forensic report and thereafter immediately issuing a White Paper on same.
“An order restraining the Senate President from receiving a nomination from President Buhari with a view to screening and confirming the appointment of any person or persons as board members of the NDDC pending the completion and presentation of the audit (report) ordered by him (Buhari).
“An order restraining Akpabio, by himself or anybody, whosoever acts through him, from interfering with the conduct of the forensic audit in a manner inconsistent with the order of the President.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.