TWO Abuja based lawyers, Akharame Lucky and Edward Brisibe, yesterday, said they decided to drag the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and others to court to correct the illegality in setting up of the Interim Management Committee and Advisory Committee for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The lawyers, plaintiffs in the case, on the reasons for their court action, said: “When an illegality is allowed in a system for so long, it gradually assumed and takes the shape of legality.”
The plaintiffs in the suit, are praying the court to declare that by virtue of section 12 (2) of the NDDC Establishment Act No 6 as amended, the Advisory Committee of the NDDC can only advice a validly constituted board of the commission and not a management committee.
Other defendants in the suit are NDDC acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr, Cairo Ojougboh, Chief Ibang Etang, acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration while Mrs. Caroline Nagbo and Cecilia Akintomide who are 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th defendants respectively.
The lawyers in suit, are asking the court to determine whether the President and Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs are authorized under the NDDC Act of 2000 or any laws in Nigeria to appoint an Interim Management Committee or appoint the 4th-8th defendants as interim managing director, executive directors and members of NDDC.
“Whether the purported appointment of the 4th-8th defendants by the President and Niger Delta Affairs Minister is not contrary to the provisions of section 12 of the NDDC act of 2000 and therefore, unlawful, ultra vires, null and void.
“Whether the President is authorized under any laws in Nigeria and particularly the NDDC Act of 2000 to inaugurate an advisory board for an interim committee of the NDDC not legally composed as provided by law.”
Speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, Edward said: “We believe this is unconstitutional and violates the NDDC Act and against the people of the Niger Delta region for the President to inaugurate these committees.
“It is based on these facts that we are seeking redress for these irregularities by the Nigeria government against the people of the Niger Delta region.”