Lawyer Sues NDDC, Seeks Exclusion of 16 LGs of Ondo State from Commission’s Projects

Omotola Odusola, Esq.

Asks court to void all NDDC’s projects outside Ilaje and Ese Odo LGs in the YEAR 2021 BUDGET
Raises four issues for determination, seeks five prayers from the court.

An Ondo-based Lawyer, Omotola Odusola of Omolegbon Odusola & Co in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State has dragged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to a Federal High Court in Akure to challenge the validity or lawfulness of the action of the NDCC (1st defendant) in allocating projects of the commission to other local governments area of Ondo State which according to him are not part of the Niger Delta area and its peoples.

Starnews Nigeria reports that in suit number FHC/AK/CS/64/21, dated July 22, 2021, the plaintiffs, BARR. OMOTOLA ODUSOLA, BARR. PAUL BEMINI and BARR. ROBERT ADEPETU AROGBO called for the interpretation of the statutory provisions of the NDDC act in the implementation of projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta area and its people.

The plaintiffs also include THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, ​​​AND THE SPEAKER OF THE FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES as defendants, Starnews Nigeria reports.

According to the plaintiffs, the NDDC Act specifically spells out the functions and powers of the 1st defendant (NDDC) and therefore raised four issues of law for determination in their Originating Summons as obtained by Starnews Nigeria below:

(1.​)Whether by the combined reading of the introductory note and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, whether the words “Niger Delta Area” as severally used in the Act in relation to sitting or allocation of projects, is not limited to the communities in the Local Government Areas of Ondo State with wetland and coastal marine ecosystem, wherein there is or are ecological problem(s) arising from the exploration of oil minerals in Ondo State.

(2.​)Whether by the combined reading of the introductory note and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, whether the words “Niger Delta Area” is not limited to the communities in the Local Government Areas of Ondo State vis; the Ilaje Local Government Area and Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, which are the two communities with wetland and coastal marine ecosystem, where oil exploration and ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration are taking place in Ondo State.

(3.​)Whether by the combined reading of Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the following Local Government Areas, vis; Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko-South-West, Owo, Akure North, Akure South, Idanre, Ifedore, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo East, Ondo West and Odigbo Local Government Areas, where no oil exploration and where no ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration are taking place, are by the provisions of the NDDC, Act entitled to allocation of projects from the 1st Defendant and the allocation of projects to them is not an abuse of power.

(4.​)Whether it was not unlawful for the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to approve or give approval to the part of the “YEAR 2021 BUDGET” of the 1st Defendant wherein the 1st Defendant projects are allocated to communities in the following Local Government Areas of Ondo State vis; Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko-South-West, Owo, Ose, Akure North, Akure South, Idanre, Ifedore, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo East, Ondo West, Irele, Okitipupa and Odigbo Local Government Areas, where no oil exploration and where no ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration are taking place.

According to the court papers, Starnews Nigeria reports that the plaintiffs also see give prayers from the court.

(1.​)A DECLARATION that by the combined reading of the introductory note and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the words “Niger Delta Area and its peoples” as severally used in the Act in relation to the siting or allocation of projects, is limited to the communities in the Local Government Areas of Ondo State with wetland and coastal marine ecosystem, where there is ecological problem(s) arising from the exploration of oil minerals in Ondo State.

(2.​)A DECLARATION that by the combined reading of the introductory note and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the words “Niger Delta Area” is limited to the following communities in the Local Government Areas of Ondo State vis; the Ilaje Local Government Area and Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, which are the two Local Local Government Areas with wetland and coastal marine ecosystem, where oil exploration and ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration are taking place in Ondo State.

(3.​)A DECLARATION that by the combined reading of Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 7(1)(a) to (j) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000, Act No. 6. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the following Local Government Areas, vis; Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko-South-West, Owo, Ose, Akure North, Akure South, Idanre, Ifedore, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo East, Ondo West, Irele, Okitipupa and Odigbo Local Government Areas, not being Local Government Areas where oil exploration and where ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration are taking place, are not entitled to allocation of projects from the 1st Defendant and any allocation of projects to them constitutes an abuse of power by the defendants.

(4.​)A DECLARATION that the inclusion by the 1st Defendant and the approval by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants of projects, in the “YEAR 2021 BUDGET” of the 1st Defendant for communities in the following Local Government Areas of Ondo State vis; Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko-South-West, Owo, Ose, Akure North, Akure South, Idanre, Ifedore, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo East, Ondo West, Irele, Okitipupa and Odigbo Local Government Areas, when the communities are not part of the Niger Delta Area where ecological problem(s) arising from oil exploration is taking place, is null and void as the same ultra vires the power of the 1st Defendant.

(5.​)AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, servants, successors-in-title and all persons claiming by and or through them from further allocating projects of the 1st Defendant to the following Local Government Areas of Ondo State vis; Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko-South-West, Owo, Ose, Akure North, Akure South, Idanre, Ifedore, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Ondo East, Ondo West, Irele, Okitipupa and Odigbo Local Government Areas, on the ground that they are not part of the Niger Delta Area envisaged by the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, 2000.

The case has not yet be fixed for mention. All the parties are expecting a date to be fixed by the court after all court papers are duly filed by the defendants, Starnews Nigeria has gathered.


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