The Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD), has called on the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice to obey court order to inaugurate the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The Civil Society Organisation (CSO) disclosed this through its National President, Mr Emmanuel Igbini in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

Igbini called on the Minister of Justice to immediately obey a Federal High Court’s order on the inauguration of governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

” Like 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022, AGF Mallami must immediately obey the Court’s Order to inaugurate the Governing Board of NDDC, among other Orders.

“We indeed received with very sincere and full gratitude, the patriotic decision of Hon. Justice Isa Dashen of the Federal High Court, sitting in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, ordering the AGF (Mr Mallami) to immediately allow the inauguration of the substantive governing board of NDDC.

” This was since year 2019 confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on official request by President Buhari in line with provisions of the NDDC Act 2000 as amended.

” But unjustiably put on hold allegedly to allow for the forensic auditing of the commission, an Audit that has since been concluded and the report submitted to President Buhari though the AGF, Mr Mallami.

” We therefore call on and demand of AGF, Mallami, to immediately and unconditionally carry out the explicit and justified Orders of this Federal High Court, the same way he speedily carried out the Orders given by the Federal High Court, Umuahi, to delete Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

” Thus, which Mr Mallami has consistently and publicly demanded of the Nigerian Senate to do.

” We hasten to remind him that the Nigerian Senate has on many occasions directed that this board be immediately inaugurated to serve the people of the Niger Delta Region,” he said.

Igbini said it would be more effective and successful to use the NDDC to address the worrisome increasing cases of massive oil theft in the Niger Delta Region.

“We want to hasten to remind President Buhari of our previous Advice to him and APC that they must be mindful of being misled to violate the clear position of the NDDC Act which stipulates that only the Nigerian Senate screened and confirmed Board is to manage and administer the NDDC. Nobody else under any guise.

“We also remind both President Buhari and APC of the dire political consequences they stand to suffer come 2023 General Elections if they continue to allow a few persons mislead them to do this grave Injustice to the exploited and suffering women, mothers, wives, children and husbands of the Oil Producing States of the Niger Delta Region who stand to better their lives, address Environmental Disasters as a result of continued exploration and exploitation of Oil and Gas, and restore the worsening state of Roads and few other Public Infrastructures in the Region through the NDDC when only managed and administered by Substantive Governing Boarding rightly nominated by the President of Nigeria, screened and confirmed by the Nigerian Senate.

“There is no doubt that since 2019 that the NDDC has been placed under the authority of unlawful and illegal one-man Sole Administrator, the lives of the people of the Niger Delta Region have regrettably continued to witnessed Hopelessness due to sudden absence of NDDC’s projects and supports in the Region. All they are forced to do daily is sit back and watch on TV or read in the Newspapers, the commissioning of massive projects like Dangote Fertilizer Complex, Dangote Refinery, Pyramids of Ride and Maize, Mega Rail Stations and Rail Lines, Modern Airports, Kilometers of Bridges and Dual Carriage Roads, all taking place in other non-Oil Producing States of Nigeria.

” It has never ever been heard let alone seen since the creation of NDDC in year 2000, that anyone would stop the inauguration of a Substantive Board of NDDC duly and lawfully nominated by an incumbent President of Nigeria and subsequently screened and confirmed the Nigerian Senate. It never happened until this sad case.

” Our dear President Buhari must know that he has nothing to gain allowing this unlawful act of not allowing the substantive Board of NDDC resume to carry out its duties to better the lives of the people of the Region because he is never known to be one of those Nigerian Leaders known to be corrupt and sharing in the looting of the funds belonging to NDDC and the Federation. Instead, he stands to continue to lose the respect and massive goodwill he enjoys from the people of the Niger Delta Region if he continues to allow a few people around him to stop the inauguration of this Substantive Board of NDDC by unjustly and unlawfully placing it on standby under the guise of conducting a forensic audit of the Commission.

” While we are known to be vehemently opposed to any act of disruption of smooth exploration and exploitation of Petroleum and the vandalisation and stealing of crude oil for illegal Oil Refining in the Niger Delta Region, we are now pained that this refusal to inaugurate the Substantive Board of NDDC may be seen as justified reason for some of our youths to engage in the above acts that seriously affect the expected Revenue from sales of Petroleum.

By Editor

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