COURT CONFIRMS NDDC 4YEARS TENURE
– TOROBONG EKPO
The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo has ruled that the Management of the current board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is to serve for four years.
This was sequel to suit filed by Hon. Clement Awakessien and Godwin Ikogho of Grand Council of Niger Delta Youth Leaders challenging the Federal Government on the rightful tenure accrued to the present board of the commission.
In the summon, the duo had refered to Section 3 sub 1 of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act and section 5 of the same law which stipulates tenure and issues of vacancy in office respectively.
The Faces of Grand Council of Niger Youth leaders specifically stressed that the tenure of Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba couldn’t be said to be the continuation of that of Sen. Bassey Ewa Henshaw as the latter’s tenure had terminated since July 2015.
They noted that it was illegal to claim that the tenure of Egba was continuation of Ewa’s and should terminate on 15th December, 2017.
The plaintiff urged the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to abide by section 5 sub 1, 13 and 15 of 1999 constitution with regards to oath of allegiance and “Preserve, Protect, implement otherwise ensure the protection and implementation of Niger Delta Development Commission Act”.
Delivering the Judgment, Friday 20th, Justice I.M. Isni affirmed almost all the prayers put across by plaintiff but ruled out an order of Injuction restraining the President of the Federal Government from removing Sen. Ndoma Egba as the Chairman of the Board of NDDC until his tenure expires.
Reacting to the judgment, the counsel to the plaintiff Barr. DENNIS OKWAKPAM described the ruling as unbiased and fair to both parties and portrayed the court as hope of a common man.
Hon. Awakessien and Mr. Ikogho in their separate reactions said that the judgement was victory for the Niger Deltans.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had earlier in a release endorsed by the Secretary to the Federal Government , Boss Mustapha maintained that the present NDDC Board has four years tenure.