Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to court for sacking them.
According to former NDDC executives, by virtue of sections 2, 3 and 5 of the NDDA Establishment Act, they are entitled to an unbroken four-year tenure from December 16, 2013 to December 15, 2017 and so they can’t be fired at this point in time, Vanguard reports.
They added that they cannot be deprived of their appointments, or removed from office, dissolved or their appointments terminated except in accordance with the extant provisions of the said Act.
They have asked the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, to declare that the president has no powers to sack them as their appointments are governed by statutes and is for a fixed period, which is yet to expire.
Recently, there were circulars from the office of secretary to the government of the federation, dated July 16, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.19/S.81/XIX/964 and July 23, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.55/S.2 that all boards stand dissolved.
Defendants in this court case are the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Members of the board, led by Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, through their counsel, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegborowa said: “By virtue of the NDDC Establishment Act, the Governing Board of the commission cannot be dissolved, either through the letters dated July 16, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.19/S.81/XIX/964 and July 23, 2015, Ref. No. SGF.55/S.2, respectively, or in any other manner that constitutes a violation of sections 2,3,5 and other extant provisions of the said NDDC Act.”
They are praying the court to declare the letters “invalid, null and void and of no effect whatsoever, in so far as they relate to the dissolution of the said Governing Board.
“An order forthwith re-instating the claimants as members of the 4th Governing Board of the NDDC in compliance with their respective letters of appointment and sections 2, 3, 5 and other extant provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act and to direct the second defendant to pay all allowances, benefits and perquisites to which the claimants are otherwise entitled.”
On August 26, President Muhammadu Buhari had a meeting with the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to clarify the issues surrounding an alleged missing N183.7 billion from the commission’s coffers.
Reports by the auditor-general of the federation had revealed that certain fictitious multi-billion naira contracts were awarded, paid and backdated to last year, in a bid to cover alleged financial misdeeds.
even after the board had been sacked with a specific mandate to the managing director to take over.