The Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, has slated January 26 for hearing of a suit asking for an injunction to restrain the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board from accessing funds or implementing the budget of the agency.

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 had filed a case with suit number: FHC/WR/CS/131/2022 between Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh and four others VS the President F.R.N and seven others praying the court for an injunction until the case is heard and determined.

The communities said they were optimistic that the suit would correct the marginalization of Delta State in the newly constituted board.

Acting on behalf of the communities, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, Comrade Ameachi Ogbonna, Tsola Emiko Amoye and Isaac Dorsu prayed the Federal High Court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the President and the National Assembly from “permitting and/or authorizing the operations and/or appropriating the relevant funds or implementing the relevant budgetary allocations by the governing board of the NDDC with the extant nominees, composition and structure of the proposed board chairman and members as constituted pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”.

The presiding judge, Honourable Justice Okon Abang, had last week ordered the service of the court processes on the President, Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as Madam Lauretta Ifeanyi Onochie, all of whom are defendants to the suit.

While the 1st, 2nd and 4th plaintiffs were present when the matter was mentioned on Thursday, none of the defendants was present.

However, the President and the Attorney General of the Federation were represented by their Counsel, Mr. K. K. Akule, who held brief for Mr. Kingsley Idiozu.

For the plaintiffs, Jolone Ikomi, Esq. leading Chief Robinson Ariyo, informed the court that all the parties had been served but were yet to file their reply, adding that they had until January 24 to do so.

The court adjourned to January 26 for hearing of the Motion on Notice for injunction.