The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday sacked Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, Mr Cairo Ojougboh, Dr Joi Nunieh and others from functioning on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
In a suit numbered ABJ/CS/617/2020, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling on an application by a Civil Society Organisation, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, restrained them from parading themselves as board members of the NDDC.
Acting MD of the NDDC, Kemebradikumor Pondei, fainting during public interrogation before a legislative committee probing allegations of contracting fraud under his watch to the tune of N81 billion.
Daily Trust reports that the court also granted leave to the applicant to apply for a judicial review of the power of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or the Minister of the Niger Delta to appoint Pondei, Ojougboh and others in an interim capacity as members of the NDDC Board.
The judge also granted leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review for an Order of Mandamus compelling the ICPC, sued as the 9th Defendant in the suit, to investigate the Minister of Niger Delta, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, and the five members of the Board over allegations of N3billion contract fraud.
By this order of the court, the members of the NDDC Board are restrained from performing the functions of the board pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice which is fixed for Dec. 8, 2020.
The plaintiff in the suit said it had notified President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Department of State Services, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the ICPC of an interim vacancy in the commission.
The plaintiff also urged that the most senior civil servant or administrator in the commission be appointed while praying that the suspended officers be stopped from accessing the commission’s offices and files as they could tamper with evidence which could be used by the ICPC in its probe.
Parties joined in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of the Niger Delta, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Dr Joi Nunieh, Mrs Caroline Nagbo, Cecilia Bukola Akintomide and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission.