Court restricts  Onochie, sacks 18 aides for illegal appointment

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A Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State , has restrained the Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board,  Lauretta Onochie, from carrying out executive functions and the day-to-day running of the agency.

The court also sacked 18 aides appointed by  Onochie.

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In a judgment delivered on May 9, Okon Abang, presiding judge, voided all executive actions taken by Onochie since she assumed office on January 4, 2023.

 Abang, held that Lauretta Onochie acted outside her powers in appointing the 18 aides

The court declaration was made in response to a suit filed by the plaintiff, Dr Mike Oberabor on behalf of residents of Olomoro Community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, who sought an interpretation of the NDDC ACT 2000, following some actions by Onochie believed to be against the Act.

The NDDC, Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku are the first, second and third defendants.

Justice Abang said, having considered the provisions of the NDDC establishment ACT 2000, and the circular issued by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, dated January 16 2023, Onochie is to oversea and preside over meetings of the board on a part-time basis.

He held that Onochie’s unilateral decision to appoint 18 aides in her office and demand for an executive office in the commission are in contravention of relevant provisions of the NDDC ACT and circular released by the federal government on the subject matter of the plaintiff claims.

The court however barred her from interfering in the third defendant’s executive functions of running the commission as the managing director.

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