Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja has struck out a suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari, challenging the alleged lopsidedness in appointments into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The suit instituted by an Abuja-based businesswoman and NDDC stakeholder, Rita Ogbebor was struck out by the court on the grounds that the plaintiff has no legal rights to have instituted the case.
Delivering judgement, Justice Ekwo held that Section 2 of the NDDC Act 2000, was specific that any legal action on any infraction in matters relating to NDDC can only be instituted by corporate persons and not individuals like the plaintiff. The judge held that the law was clear that the power to file any case to challenge infractions in the NDDC cannot be delegated by proxy to anyone.
The plaintiff had prayed for an order compelling Buhari to appoint Itsekiri indigene from oil-producing areas of Delta State as the Managing Director of the NDDC. She further asked that the court declare that Buhari is under legal obligation to comply with all laws relating to appointments in the NDDC. However, defendants in the suit filed preliminary objections and challenged the legal rights of the plaintiff to have instituted the action.
The defendants averred that Section 2 of the NDDC Act is so specific that only corporate persons can institute action where infractions occur. Justice Ekwo held that if those empowered by law to challenge infractions in the NDDC appointments refuse or neglect to act then the court won’t consider it material infraction or infraction at all.