A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday rejected a suit querying the legitimacy of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, constituted for the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
In a judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi (the right to approach the court) to challenge any perceived infraction of the provisions of the NDDC Act.
The judgment was in a suit filed by Itoldem Daghware, Bishop Chuck Johnson, Akinterinwa Julius and the Registered Trustees of Niger Delta Youth Forum (for themselves as elders of oil producing communities of Ilaje, Umuorji, Ojahiegbema) and Uhrobo in the Niger-Delta region.
Listed as defendants in the suit were the Attorney General of the Federation, the National Assembly, the Minister for Nigr Delta Affairs, NDDC, Prof K. David Pondei, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Mr. Ibanga Bassey Etang, Mrs. Caroline Nagbo and Mrs. Cecillia Bukola Akintomide.
The plaintiffs had, among others, prayed the court to declare as illegal and a violation of sections 7(3), 9, 10 and 12 of the NDDC Act, the President’s appointment of an interim management committee to manage the commission’s affairs.
In the judgment on Wednesday, Justice Ekwo upheld the defendants’ objection to the suit, to the effect that the plaintiffs could not query any perceived infraction of the NDDC Act.
The judge said it was those listed in Section 2(1) of the NDDC Act, who could be considered as stakeholders and could be directly affected by any infraction of the Act by any appointing authority that can challenge any perceived violation of the law.
The judge said since the plaintiffs did not fall into the category of those considered as stakeholders of the NDDC, they could not sue to challenge any alleged infraction of the NDDC Act.