By Olalekan Awojodu
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Wednesday granted an order restraining Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, Mr Cairo Ojougboh, Dr Joi Nunieh and others from performing the functions of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC).
In suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling on an application by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, the court restrained them from parading themselves as Board members of the NDDC.
Justice Mohammed also granted leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review for an Order of Mandamus compelling the ICPC, sued as the 9th Defendant in the Suit to investigate the Minister of Niger Delta, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and the 5 members of the Board over allegations of N3 Billion contract fraud.
The court granted leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review of the power of the President 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 Board are restrained from performing its functions pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice which is fixed for Dec. 8, 2020.
The Plaintiff in the suit said it has 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.
This, according to them is to prevent them from tampering 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, Minister of the Niger Delta, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.
Others are Dr. Joi Nunieh, Mrs. Caroline Nagbo, Cecilia Bukola Akintomide and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.