Urhobo Youth Leaders Council (UYLC) has asked the Federal High Court Warri to declare the appointment of a sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as illegal.
UYLC, a body of leaders of youth groups in Urhobo land, a major oil and gas producing community in Delta and Bayelsa States, wants the court to declare the appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa as NDDC sole administrator as null and void.
They claim that the appointment was not made in conformance with the NDDC Act which provides that the management of the Commission has to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly.x
Defendants in the suit includes the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation, the NDDC, Effiong Okon Akwa; and the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. The case was filed before the Federal High Court on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
The President of UYLC, Comrade Lucky Emonefe in a statement said the action was instituted to protect the integrity of the NDDC.
“We are seeking an order of the court restraining the defendants, their agents, administrators, privies and/or servants as well as the general public from recognising Mr Effiong Okon Akwa as sole administrator of the NDDC,” Emonefe said.
He added that the group “had to head to court because the appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa is illegal, null and void and a breach of the Act establishing the NDDC.”
According to Comrade Emonefe, “Our decision to approach the court was born out of the genuine desire of all Urhobo youths to demand a substantive board that will facilitate development in the Niger Delta region because we see the appointment as an aberration and deviating from the aims for which the commission was established.”
The group wants the court to declare that the NDDC Act does not provide for the appointment of a sole administrator; and a declaration that the appointment of Akwa as sole administrator without the approval of the Senate in consultation with the House of Representatives is null and void.
UYLC asked the court to deny recognition of Akwa as sole administrator by all agencies of government and the general public.
“The case instituted by the Urhobo Youth Leaders group is one of several by Niger Deltans challenging the imposition of the sole administrator on the NDDC after an equally illegal Interim Management Committee which was appointed by the federal government was challenged in the court,” Emonefe said.