Onyedi Gabriel, Port Harcourt
Interim Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission has written to the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court demanding clarifications on the court order purportedly restraining it from performing the functions of the commission’s board.
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja reportedly granted an order restraining Prof Daniel Pondei, Mr. Cairo Ojougboh, Dr. Joi Nunieh and others from performing the functions of the board of the NDDC.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling on an application by Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, restrained them from parading themselves as board members of the commission.
But the IMC in a statement signed by the commission’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said it had written to the registrar for further explanations.
Odili said having received and studied the enrolled order, there was no positive pronouncement of the court restraining the IMC from performing the functions of the NDDC.
Odili said, “We have received a Certified True Copy of the Enrolled Order of the Court made on October 27, 2020 on suit N0. FHC/ABJ/CS/617/2020 Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Governance V. A.G Federal Ministry of Justice.
“We have studied the order of the court and confirm that there is absolutely no positive order restraining the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei or the Interim Management Committee, IMC from performing the functions of the board of the NDDC”.
He said the court only granted the applicant leave to apply for judicial review.
Quoting copiously from the enrolled order, he said: “The above words do not and cannot constitute a court order, as such orders are unequivocal and positive.
“The applicants being fully aware that no such order was granted by the court are deliberately and mischievously misinterpreting the Order of Court to suite their selfish objective.
“We have, however, written to the Deputy Chief Registrar, Federal High Court, Abuja for clarification of the said order of court.
“In any event, the NDDC against whom the relief was sought is not a party to the suit and the Honourable Court will not fall into an elementary trap of making an Order against a person who is not a party to the suit.
“This case exemplifies the distractions we have had to deal with in our efforts to reposition and refocus the NDDC as the foremost interventionist agency in the Niger Delta region.
“The public is advised to ignore this attempt at creating an unstable atmosphere and detracting from the gains recorded by the Interim Management Committee”.