Court Orders AGF To Remove NDDC From Ministry, Publish Forensic Audit Report

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to remove the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from any ministry, including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Justice Isa Dashen, who gave the order and a couple of others, asked the AGF to dissolve the sole leadership structure of the agency and make the result of its forensic audit.

He made the orders following a motion ex parte filed on December 10, 2021, by one Odighonin Adienbo on behalf of the Wailing Women of Niger Delta (WWND), as well as the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (IFTPI), and others.

The AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was listed as the sole respondent to the suit.

“That leave is hereby granted to the applicant to seek an order of this honourable court directing the respondent to dissolve the current sole administratorship structure used to run the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),” the court said in its orders dated February 4, 2022.

“That the applicant is granted leave to seek an order of mandamus directing or compelling the respondent to immediately publish the outcome of the report of the forensic audit of NDDC.

“That an order is hereby granted directing the respondent not to place Niger Delta Development Commission under any ministry.”

Justice Dashen also granted the request for an order of mandamus directing and compelling the AGF to account for all monies that have accrued to the NDDC from the inception of its interim management till date, beginning from Professor Nelson Brambaifa.

He also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further consulting an interim or sole administratorship board to run the affairs of the agency, as well as directed the parties to report back to court next month.

“That this Honourable Court hereby directed the enrolled order of the court together with all process filed be served on the respondent to afford the respondent an opportunity as to why this application should not be granted.

“That the return date shall be the 5th day of April 2022 for report of service cum compliance and hearing,” the court held.