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Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A Niger Delta Activist and Environmentalist, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, has alleged that the office of the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been used by some top government officials as an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to siphon finds for personal use.
He said this was against investing such funds in the development of the region in line with the primary aim of creating the commission.
Mulade, who is also the National Coordinator, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), in a statement yesterday maintained that despite the billions of Naira allocated to the NDDC over the years for development purposes, the region still lacked basic amenities such as good road networks, health centers, portable water, electricity supply, schools, connecting bridges and other infrastructure.
While expressing bitterness over alleged mismanagement of the commission’s funds, the activist claimed that the funds were in the custody of a few individual politicians and their cronies who never meant well for the region.
Mulade however applauded the judgment of the Federal High Court Yenagoa, Bayelsa State that ordered the removal of sole administrator, and stopped the NDDC from being placed under any ministry including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the constitution of a board to run the affairs of the commission.
The Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, had on March 22, 2022, directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to stop placing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under any ministry, including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. The Court also granted a perpetual injunction restraining the AGF from further constituting an interim or a sole administrator-ship board to run the affairs of the NDDC.
The orders were made following a motion ex-parte dated December 10th, 2021, and filed by Odighonin Adienbo on behalf of the Wailing Women of the Niger Delta (WWND) and the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (IFTPI).
Mulade, the Ibe-Sorimowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, hailed the court decision noting that a sole administrator running the affairs of NNDC was alien and a contravention of the laws establishing the commission.
He noted that the law establishing NNDC only recognised an Interim Management Board or Committee, and not a sole administrator.