•Demands immediate inauguration of new board
Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A Niger Delta group, Vanguard For Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD) has urged the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to immediately comply with the judgement of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, ordering him to constitute the Governing board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group maintained that just as he instantly reacted to the ruling on 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022 by the Federal high court in Umuahia, the Minister of Justice should also give immediate consideration to the implications of that of Yenagoa order for the immediate constitution of the board of NDDC.
VATLAD, in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Igbini Odafe Emmanuel, said “Like 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022, AGF Abubakar Malami must immediately obey the Court’s Order to inaugurate the Governing Board of NDDC, among other Orders.
“We indeed received with very sincere and full gratitude, the Patriotic Decision of Hon. Justice Isa Dashen of the Federal High Court, sitting in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, ordering the
Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (Abubakar Mallami) to immediately allow the inauguration of the Substantive Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which was since year 2019 confirmed by the Nigerian Senate”, it stated.
The group recalled that the list of the proposed board of NDDC was presented to the National Assembly by President Buhari in line with provisions of the NDDC Act 2000 as amended, but unjustifiably put on hold allegedly to allow for the Forensic Auditing of the Commission, an Audit that has since been concluded and the Report submitted to President Buhari through the AGF.
VATLAD therefore called on and demanded of the Minister of Justice to immediately and unconditionally carry out the explicit and justified Orders of this Federal High Court, the same way he speedily carried out the Orders given by the Federal High Court, Umuahia to delete Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 which Malami has consistently and publicly demanded of the Nigerian Senate to do.
“We hasten to remind the Minister of Justice that the Nigerian Senate has on many occasions directed the this Board be immediately inaugurated to serve the people of the Niger Delta Region.
“The AGF must obey and immediately carry out this Order of the Federal High Court, Yenegoa, to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he is not the single person who has been the obstruction to the inauguration of this substantive Board of NDDC since year 2019”, it added.
The group lamented that the present situation where a Sole Administrator is running the affairs of NDDC, even though unconstitutional, has been given room to some elites in the region to turn the commission into their automatic teller machine (ATM).
“We want to hasten to remind President Buhari of our previous Advice to him and APC that they must be mindful of being misled to violate the clear position of the NDDC Act which stipulates that only the Nigerian Senate screened and confirmed Board is to manage and administer the NDDC. Nobody else under any guise.
“There is no doubt that since 2019 that the NDDC has been placed under the authority of unlawful and illegal one-man Sole Administrator, the lives of the people of the Niger Delta Region have regrettably continued to witnessed Hopelessness due to sudden absence of NDDC’s projects and supports in the Region.
“All they are forced to do daily is sit back and watch on TV or read in the Newspapers, the commissioning of massive projects like Dangote Fertilizer Complex, Dangote Refinery, Pyramids of Ride and Maize, Mega Rail Stations and Rail Lines, Modern Airports, Kilometers of Bridges and Dual Carriage Roads, all taking place in other non-Oil Producing States of Nigeria”, it added.