NDDC: Court Halts Confirmation Of Onochie, Ogbuku As Chairman, MD Respectively
The National Assembly has been directed by the Federal High Court, Abuja to stop the screening and confirmation of Lauretta Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku as Chairman and Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission respectively.
The presiding judge, Justice J. K. Omotosho on Friday ordered lawmakers in the National Assembly to suspend the confirmation pending the determination of a suit filed before the court.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2294/2022 is seeking a restraining order on the National Assembly from screening and confirming Onochie and Ogbuku.
The plaintiffs, Chief Edward Ekpokpo Esq., and Victor Wood who are both representing the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought and Mr Edward Omagbemi who is presenting Omadino Unity Forum all on behalf of the Itsekiri ethnic nationality are challenging the nomination on the grounds that it is the turn of the Itsekiri nationality to occupy the positions.
The first to sixth defendants in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; the House of Senate, Mrs Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku.
In the suit, it was stated that it is the turn of the Itsekiri ethnic nationality to produce the NDDC board chairman and MD as the highest oil-producing community in Delta State.
Justice Omotosho who adjourned the suit to January 11, 2023, upon reading the affidavit and hearing the counsel to the plaintiff, declared;
“That leave is hereby granted to the plaintiffs to serve the 5th and 6th defendants with the originating processes in this suit by substituted means to wit by advertising the processes in at least one national newspaper circulating within the jurisdiction of this to court and to deem the same as proper service.
“That an order is hereby made that no party in this suit shall take any step or act or action that may make the outcome of the pending motion on notice for injunction Dated and filed December 12, 2022, nugatory.
“That any act or step or action taken in this order to make the outcome of the said motion on notice dated and filed December 12, 2022, nugatory shall be a nullity.”