On Wednesday, July 29, a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt directed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to always seek the consent and approval of the state government before the execution of projects in the state.
The suit, which led to this decision, was filed in 2017 by Governor Nyesom Wike and the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State, Late Emmanuel Aguma, against the NDDC and its former Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, its former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Derick Meene and others.
The court directed that no matter the magnitude of the project, be it street light installation, water provision, road maintenance jetty construction, or any other infrastructural project, the state government must give its approval before execution.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, granted a declaration sought by the claimants that under Rivers State Physical Planning Law, Rivers State Land Law and Rivers State Urban Development Law, the NDDC or its agent lacked the power to claim any land or execute any project in any part of the state without the consent of the government.
Enebeli, however, declined to grant part of the claimant’s declaration to invalidate Section 7 and 8 of NDDC Act empowering the commission to develop on the nine states of the Niger Delta region under its purview.