Federal High Court reinstates Pondei – led NDDC interim management committee

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has reinstated the interim management committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Professor Daniel Pondei.

In a judgement that struck out the lawsuit against the IMC by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Governance on 13 January 2021, the court denied ever sacking the Pondei-led IMC.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on 12 December 2020, directed the NDDC IMC to step aside for an interim sole administrator to take over the affairs of the interventionist agency on the strength of the purported court injunction against the Pondei-led IMC.

However, the Court reiterated that the NDDC IMC was never dismissed, stressing that “that there was no order for an interim injunction (against the IMC) granted by this court”.

The court also ordered in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/617/2020 that two journalists from Channels and Sun Newspaper respectively to undo the misleading news story, and tell the world the truth of its ruling.

According to the court papers, the court was clear that the leave sought by the plaintiffs did not amount to an injunction but permission to sue which was allowed but now stands struck out by subsequent findings of the court in January 2021.

It is not clear whether Pondei-led IMC of NDDC will be reinstated by President Buhari since the president was earlier advised by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to sack the interim managers.

However, sources hinted that the Presidency might be working to act on the latest judgement of the court since it has been entered into the records.

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