A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted an order restraining Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Dr. Joi Nunieh, and others from performing the functions of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Justice A. R. Mohammed in his October 27th ruling in an application by a Civil Society Organization Forum for Accountability and Good Governance also granted leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review for an order of mandamus compelling the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, sued as the 9th defendant in the suit to investigate the Honourable Minister of the Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio and the five members of the Board over allegations of N3 Billion contract fraud.
The Court also granted leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review of the power of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or the Minister of the Niger Delta to appoint Prof. Pondei, Dr. Ojougboh, and others in an interim capacity as members of the NDDC Board.
By this order of the court, the members of the NDDC Board are restrained from performing the functions of the Board pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice which is fixed for December 8, 2020. However, these officers have despite the order been and in total disobedience been going to theor offices and performing the functions of the Board of the Commission since this order was granted.
The plaintiff had notified President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, the SGF, the DSS, the EFCC and ICPC of the interim vacancy in the Commission.
The plaintiff also urged that the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed while praying that the suspended officers be stopped from accessing the Commission’s offices and files as they could tamper with evidence which could be used by the ICPC in its probe.
Parties joined in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honourable Minister of the Niger Delta, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Dr. Joi Nunieh, Mrs. Caroline Nagbo, Cecilia Bukola Akintomide, and the ICPC.