A lawyer from Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region, Inibehe Effiong, has questioned the validity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to present the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) budget without the active participation of its governing board
In an application filed on March 11 at a Federal High Court in Abuja and seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, the lawyer wants the court to determine whether the existence of the commission’s governing board is not a condition precedent for the creation of a budget document for the NDDC.
In his suit with the number, FHC/ABJ/CS/349/2020, Mr Effiong cited section 18 (1) of the act enabling the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission which states that “its board shall submit through the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic, a budget to the National Assembly for the next succeeding year.”
Mr Effiong asked the court to determine whether the provisions of the section mentioned above does not invalidate the submission of the budget by President, Muhammdu Buhari without the constitutional involvement of the NDDC’s governing board.
He requested the court to set aside the entire process that birthed the recently approved budget of the NDDC and restrain the interim management committee set up by President Buhari from exercising what Mr Effiong described as the powers exclusively preserved for the NDDC’s governing board by its enabling act.
READ ALSO: NDDC: Buhari to appoint new board members
Mr Effiong also described as unlawful, President Buhari’s inauguration of the Niger Delta development advisory committee in the absence of the governing board.
President Buhari sent the NDDC’s 2019, 2020 budgetary allocation to the National Assembly on November 26, 2019 seeking its approval, without the inauguration of the approved board.
The lawmakers approved the budget earlier this month.
Appointing a substantive governing board for the NDDC has been enmeshed in political crisis as different leaders of the APC from the Niger Delta battle for control.
Nominees earlier sent to the Senate and approved by the lawmakers were opposed by the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, who eventually had his way as Mr Buhari later dropped the nominees.
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