Myson Nejo, a human rights Lawyer, has expressed concern about the nomination of a managing director for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), despite President Bola Tinubu’s dissolution of the board.
The legal expert argued that the ministry’s permanent secretary had violated the President’s order to dissolve all federal parastatals and agencies in a petition to the Nigerian president.
Nejo asserts that the NDDC Act mandates that only the President has the authority to nominate anyone to the board and that the Managing Director must be a member of the disbanded board.
The lawyer demanded an investigation of the Managing Director’s actions as well as the immediate cancellation of the alleged appointment.
Nejo said: “By a notice dated June 19, 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, dissolved the board of federal parastatals and agencies, including but not limited to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), with a further directive that the most senior civil servant in the affected agencies, commissions and parastatals should take over the administration of the affected agencies pending the constitution of a new board.”
By Section 2 (1) (g) of the NDDC Act, the Managing Director is a member of the NDDC board, which has now been dissolved by Mr. President.
“Worryingly, by a letter dated June 21, 2023, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, unilaterally and in brazen disregard to the orders of the President, appointed the Managing Director of the dissolved board to oversee the affairs of the NDDC until a new board is constituted by the President.”
He went on: “As if that was not enough demonstration of unbridled affront to the directive of the President, the Permanent Secretary directed that the purported appointment was to take effect from the June 16, 2023, despite the glaring fact that the board was dissolved on June 19, 2023. Simply, the purported appointment was made to have a retroactive or retrospective effect.
“In the overt manifestation of the conspiracy between Chief Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director, Charles B. Ogunmola (Executive Director, Projects) and (retired) Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Executive Director, Finance) of the dissolved NDDC board, they both, in clear and unrestrained insubordination to the authority of the President, illegally convened and held a meeting with staff of the NDDC at NDDC Headquarters, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
“This is, to say the least, unacceptable and a gross abuse of office. First, the appointment of a member of the dissolved board to the interim leadership of the NDDC is not only illegal, it is an affront to the authority of the President.
“I am aware that as of June 22, 2023, the purported appointee has started holding meetings with administrative staff of the NDDC as though his appointment were valid and Constitutional”.