Court: More Troubles For Lauretta Onochie As Itsekiri Leaders Want NDDC Board Sacked | The Street Reporters Newspaper Court: More Troubles For Lauretta Onochie As Itsekiri Leaders Want NDDC Board Sacked | The Street Reporters Newspaper




Federal High Court Abuja

Court: More Troubles For Lauretta Onochie As Itsekiri Leaders Want NDDC Board Sacked

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The motion for interlocutory injunction filed on December 12, 2022, by Itsekiri leaders is scheduled for hearing on Thursday, January 11, 2023, in Abuja. A Federal High Court on December 15, 2022, had ordered parties in suit NO FHC/ABJ/CS/2294/2022: Chief Edward Ekpoko & 2 ORS v. The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria & 5 ORS not to take any step that will render nugatory the pending application for interlocutory injunction filed on December 12, 2022.

The Court also ordered that any act or step or action taken in order to render nugatory the outcome of the Itsekiri leaders’ motion for interlocutory injunction filed on December 12, 2022, and scheduled for hearing on January 11, 2023, shall be a nullity. 

The Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality ably represented by Chief Edward Ekpoko, Mr. Edward Omagbemi and Engineer Victor Wood on December 12, 2022, filed an ex-parte application seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the Senate from screening and confirming or taking any further steps to screen or confirm the nomination of the Lauretta Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku as the next and substantive Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), pending the expiration of the statutory (three) Months Pre-action Notice already issued and or the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed.

However, the leadership of the Senate of the National Assembly screened and confirmed Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku as the substantive Chairman and Managing Director respectively, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, on December 20, 2022. 

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The Itsekiri leaders on December 22, 2022, filed an application at the Federal High Court seeking an order setting aside the screening and confirmation of Onochie and Ogbuku on December 20, 2022, by the Senate President and the Senate.

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Whilst the suit and the application to set aside the screening and confirmation of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku as Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the NDDC by the Senate of the National Assembly has not been determined, the Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs went ahead to inaugurate Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku on January 4, 2023, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, as the substantive Chairman and Managing Director, respectively, of the NDDC.

Ms Lauretta Onochie NDDC
Lauretta Onochie

The Minister hinged his action on the approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on December 12, 2022, the Itsekiri leaders are seeking a declaration that by virtue of Section 4 and other enabling sections of Niger Delta development Commission (Establishment, Etc.) (Amendment) Act, and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it is the turn of Delta State to produce the next Chairman of the Niger-Delta Development Commission.

They are also seeking a declaration that by virtue of Section 12(1) and other sections of Niger Delta development Commission (Establishment, Etc.) (Amendment) Act, and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it is the turn of Delta State to produce the next Managing Director of the Niger-Delta Development Commission.

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Part of their prayers includes a declaration that the nomination of the Lauretta Onochie who hails from a non-oil producing area in Delta State as the next Chairman of the Niger-Delta Development Commission is unlawful and contrary to the intent and purpose of the Niger-Delta Development Commission Act and a declaration that the nomination of the Samuel Ogbuku as the next managing Director of the Niger-Delta Development Commission is unlawful for being contrary to the intent and purpose of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act and a declaration that by virtue of the provisions of the Niger-Delta Development Commission Act, 2000 as amended, the Plaintiffs as suitable members of the ltsekiri nationality of Delta State are qualified to be nominated as the next Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the Niger-Delta Development Commission’’

Since the inception of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2001, the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality having over 21 oil-producing communities and producing about 58% of the crude oil in Delta State and 17% of the Country’s crude oil production, which is doubtless a major contributor to the Crude Oil and Gas Resources in Nigeria, which by virtue thereof, the Itsekiri communities suffered and continues to suffer the attendant environmental degradation, loss of livelihood as well as destruction of their farmlands and water resources, have their woes compounded by the marginalization suffered in the hands of the Federal Government of Nigeria that has repeatedly failed to consider any Itsekiri nationals competent to occupy the positions of Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the NDDC despite having previously afforded other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta States the opportunity to fill such positions.

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The NDDC has been run by various interim administrators with acting Managing Directors who hail from other oil and gas producing communities and states to the exclusion and continued marginalization of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality of Delta State of Nigeria.

Mrs. Lauretta Onochie whose name was forwarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Deltan, hails from Onicha-Olona Community in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, a NON-OIL AND GAS PRODUCING area of Delta State, and whereas, Chief Samuel Ogbuku whose name was forwarded as the Managing Director of the NDDC Board hails from Bayelsa State, is contrary to an established rotation arrangement in accordance with the NDDC Act.

By rotation, it is the turn of Delta State by extension the ltsekiri Ethnic Nationality, to produce the next Managing Director of the NDDC.

StreetReporters.ng


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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.


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