• Says Applicants Misinterpreted Order
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has clarified that the order given by the Federal High Court in Abuja was not meant to restrain the Interim Management Committee (IMC), led by Professor Daniel Pondei.
NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, argued that the applicants, being fully aware that no such order was granted by the court, are deliberately and mischievously misinterpreting the order to suit their objective.
Odili disclosed that the Commission has written to the Deputy Chief Registrar, Federal High Court, Abuja for clarification of the said order of the court, adding: “In the light of the misinformation concerning the order of an Abuja High Court on October 27, 2020, it has become necessary for us to make some clarifications in the matter in the interest of Niger Delta stakeholders”
“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 Vs. 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 NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, or the Interim Management Committee (IMC) from performing the functions of the Board of the NDDC.
“All the court did was to grant the applicant leave to apply for judicial review. For the avoidance of doubt, the court ordered as follows- ‘Leave is hereby granted the applicant to apply for judicial review for an order of mandamus, in terms of the reliefs set out in the statement in support of the application for leave which are…”
He continued: “What the court did, in items I, ii and iii of the order, was to reproduce the prayer of the applicants. Prayer 3 of the applicant’s motion reads thus: ‘An Order of this honourable court restraining the 3rd to 8th Defendants from performing the function of the Board of NDDC, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.’
“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 suit their selfish objective.
“In any event, the NDDC, against whom the relief was sought, is not a party to the suit and the 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.”
He advised the public to ignore the attempt at creating an unstable atmosphere and detracting from the gains recorded by the IMC.