By Henry Ojelu
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned further hearing to November 24, 2021, the N10billion suit by Ndokwa/Ukwani community against Delta State Government over alleged marginalization.
The community suing through their representatives, Tony Amechi and Evans Ufeli axe seeking a declaration that the deliberate exclusion of Ndokwa/Ukwani land from developmental projects by Delta State Government is discriminatory and amounts to a violation of their fundamental human rights.
Joined as respondents are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Executive Council, Delta State House of Assembly and the state’s Attomey-General.
Part of the reliefs sought by the community include an order directing the respondents to immediately review the road construction projects with immediate effect and make the necessary adjustments to include roads in Ndokwa/Ukwani land in the projects.
They are also seeking an order directing the governor to send an additional Bill the state House of Assembly to also site a University in Ndokwa/Ukwani land.
But the respondents in a counter affidavit deposed to by John Okpesuru, a Deputy Director (Highways) at the Delta State Ministry of Work denied all the allegation against the State Government, stating among other things that the state had approved 27 infrastructural projects
in Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West and/or Ukwuani LGAs since May 16, 2016.
At the hearing of the suit, the applicants’ counsel, Evans Ufeli told the court that the matter was ripe for hearing and that address had been filed on the issue of jurisdiction, which the court raised ‘suo moto’ (on its own).
However, counsel to the respondents, Morakjnyo Olasupo, who held the brief of Mr. Isaiah Bozimo, the state’s Attorney General, asked for an adjournment as the AG was not in court due to short hearing notice.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, adjourned to November 24, 2021, for further hearing.