NDDC Board Drags Buhari To Court

Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC board, have asked the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, to declare that President Muhammadu Buhari has no powers to sack them as their appointments are governed by statutes and for a fixed period, as same period has not expired.

It will be recalled that there were recent circulars from the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, dated July 16, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.19/S.81/XIX/964 and July 23, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.55/S.2 that all boards stand dissolved. The Sen Bassey Ewa-Henshaw led board, through their counsel, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegborowa, is contending that the circular were wrongly applied to NDDC.

The claimants argued that by virtue of sections 2, 3 and 5 of the NDDA Establishment Act, they were entitled to four years unbroken tenure from December 16, 2013 to December 15, 2017 and they cannot be deprived of the said appointments, or removed from office, dissolved or their appointments terminated save and in accordance with the extant provisions of the said Act.

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Group Appeals To Buhari Not To Dissolve NDDC Board

A group, the Niger Delta Professionals Association, has appealed to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, not to dissolve the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

In a statement issued in Abuja Wednesday, the group, through its President, Ose Olise, also advised Mr. Buhari against taking any action that would return the oil-rich region to its former bloody state.

Already, the group said it has received reports that some outgoing governors from the region are trying to manipulate the youth in the region into staging a protest against the leadership of the development agency.

“We are aware that they have already procured some youths from Niger Delta especially Akwa Ibom State among other states to organize a protest against the management of NDDC Board,” the group stated.

“We are also aware that they have sponsored some elements who have already filed a suit to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the management and Board of NDDC on false allegations.”

It, therefore, used the medium to draw the attention of Niger Delta indigenes and Nigerians to the thickening plot by some politicians to stoke crisis in the region.

Since elections have come and gone and the winners declared, the group advised politicians in the country to concentrate their efforts in things that would move the country forward.

It also argued that politicians should put the overall interest of the nation and the Niger Delta region above their individual and collective political interests.

The group said since the NDDC board is less than two years, it should be allowed to compete its tenure, saying if it is found that it did not fulfil its statutory mandate, Mr. Buhari can refuse to renew the boards second term.

The group described as “uncivil, gross misconduct and impunity” to instigate the dissolution of a performing board because some politicians are interested in filling the position with their stooges.

It said dissolving the NDDC board without any significant reason would send wrong signals to the people of the region and could trigger crises.

“We are using this medium to respectfully and humbly advise General Muhammadu Buhari to be very careful with the way he handles Niger Delta matters, in order not to end up creating a serious and unprecedented anarchy in the region.

“We wish to call on the American President Barack Obama, David Cameron of United Kingdom, Angela Mikel of Germany, and other well-meaning world leaders to prevail on the incoming government of General Buhari to religiously avoid unrest in the region by allowing the incumbent Board of NDDC to be.”

The group also appealed to eminent religious leaders and leaders of thought across the country to prevail on the incoming government not to take actions that would rob it of the support Nigerians gave it at the just concluded polls.

“Let peace reign in Niger Delta Region. Let us not dissolve the incumbent NDDC board just because it was instituted by outgoing Peoples Democratic Party-led government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“In the interest of peace equity and good conscience let the incumbent board of NDDC serve out their tenure. PDP and APC are made up of Nigerians. Politics is not war. Election has come and gone let us build our country.”