Ilaje, an oil-producing community in Ondo State, under the Ilaje Advancement Forum, has taken President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to court for acts of marginalisation and violation of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act in the appointment of a Managing Director for the agency.
The community in its court documents filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja stated that putting into cognizance the rotational principle encapsulated in Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000, it was the turn of the community to produce the NDDC Managing Director.
The Ilaje Advancement Forum being represented by Falana and Falana’s Chambers further stated that the court should restrain the Nigerian government from appointing anyone who was not from the community as the MD.
According to court documents sighted by SaharaReporters, the case is in the Federal High Court, Abuja between the Ilaje Advancement Forum and Babatunde Iwalokun as the plaintiffs and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Effiong Okon Akwa as the defendants.
The matter came up on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, but the defendants were not in court.
The case was adjourned to Tuesday, May 24, 2022, for hearing.
The court documents in the Originating Summons, reads, “Let the defendants within 30 days after service of this summons which is issued on the application of the plaintiffs for the determination of the following questions; one; Whether appointment into the position of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission ought not to be on a rotational basis among the oil-producing member states of the commission in the order of production quantum as mandated by the provisions of Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.
“Two; whether putting into cognizance the rotational principle encapsulated in Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000, in relation to the order of the production mong oil-producing states in the NDDC, it is not the turn of the indigene of the oil-producing area of Ondo State to produce the Managing Director of the commission.
“Three; whether putting into cognizance the mandatory provision of Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000, the 1st defendant in exercising his powers of appointment can constitute the Board of the NDDC in such manner as to exclude an indigene of the oil-producing area of Ondo State as Managing Director.”
Moreover, the plaintiffs are seeking from the Federal High Court Abuja “an Order of this Honourable Court voiding the appointment of the 5th defendant as the sole administrator of the NDDC for being unlawful and ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant.
“An Order of this Honourable Court directing the 1st defendant to forthwith appoint an indigene of the oil-producing area of Ondo State as the Managing Director of the DDC in compliance with the rotational principle mandatorily specified in Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.
“An Order of Injunction restraining the 2nd and 3rd defendants from accepting or considering for legislative confirmation the name of any person rather than an indigene of the oil-producing area of Ondo State for appointment as the Managing Director of the NDDC.”