Warri – The Federal High Court sitting in Warri has slated January 31 for argument on the suit seeking to restrain the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from accessing the account and budget of the agency.
The Managing Director of the NDDC has also joined the suit.
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, made the adjournment following an application for the joinder brought by the counsel to the Managing Director of the NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, Thursday, January 26.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Jolone Ikomi Esq., while opposing the joinder, contended that inasmuch as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Principal of the MD were part of the suit, the MD being an agent may not be a necessary party.
But Counsel to the MD, Rex Ogbuku Esq. contended that since the order sought to be made would affect the interest of the party sought to be joined, it is constitutionally mandatory that the MD be joined.
The Honourable Court then consolidated the applications for joinder and that for injunction and adjourned both applications upon consent to January 31, for arguments.
Justice Abang who heard both parties to the suit, including the MD’s Counsel and that of the plaintiffs, Ikomi, however, ordered all the defendants to file their processes before the next adjourned date due to the urgency and sensitive nature of the issues involved, in order to enable all parties the opportunity of being heard.
Recall that a group led by son of former finance Minister, Late Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, had filed an application at the Federal High Court, Warri, seeking an injunction to deny the newly constituted governing board access to the commission’s funds or implementing its budget for allegedly being “unjust, unfair and inequitable” to the people of Delta State in general and Itsekiri in particular.
The Plaintiffs are Indigenes and members of oil and gas producing communities of Itsekiri ethnic extraction in Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas of Delta State led by Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh and four others.