Via David Ekuetafia
In contemporary weeks, there was a rash of false impression being peddled in each the print and digital media about what subsequent steps Mr President must tackle issues with regards to the Governing Board of Niger Delta Construction Fee.
These types of misconceptions are planned falsehood designed basically to obfuscate the problems and confuse the non criminal minds. Others are merely orchestrated to hide up and give protection to egocentric particular person or clannish pursuits with out reference or empirical evidence of info.
In various instances, the positions had been very flawed and deceptive.
This was once the case of what we learn from a Nigerian Newspaper of Saturday 30th of November, 2019 and different social media platforms credited to the Chairman of the Area Committee on Niger Delta, Rep Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo who was once quoted as pronouncing that he noticed not anything fallacious with the 3-man meantime control committee of Senator Akpabio.
That is towards a 15 contributors Governing Board as supplied for in phase 10(a) of the NDDC Act 2000. Tunji-Ojo mentioned he was once keen to welcome the three contributors of the meantime control committee to come back and constitute NDDC to shield the 2019 and 2020 NDDC Appropriation Estimates submitted remaining week via Mr President to each Chambers of the Nationwide Meeting.
As though his place isn’t deceptive sufficient, he went additional to lie to his target market and contributors of the general public that the provisions of phase 171 of the Nigerian Charter legalize the meantime control committee, an statement this is maximum opposite to the actual that means of that phase of the Charter.
For the avoidance of doubt, the our bodies or businesses suffering from the provisions of phase 171 of the Charter neither relate to nor come with the NDDC.
With the intention to set the report immediately and for a greater working out via stakeholders and contributors of most of the people, the phase of the Charter underneath reference is hereby reproduced as follows: 171 –
(1) “Energy to nominate individuals to carry or act within the places of work to which this phase applies and to take away individuals so appointed from this type of workplace shall vest within the President.
(2) The places of work to which this phase applies are, particularly –
(a) Secretary to the Executive of the Federation;
(b) Head of the Provider of the Federation;
(c) Ambassador, Prime Commissioner or different Most important Consultant of Nigeria in another country;
(d) Everlasting Secretary in any Ministry or Head of any Further-Ministerial Division of the Executive of the Federation howsoever designated; and
(e) any workplace at the non-public body of workers of the President…”
Opposite to the commentary credited to the Area Committee Chairman, Segment 171 does now not relate to the NDDC.
To additional compound and showcase his loss of deep wisdom of the NDDC Act (whilst a member of the Nationwide Meeting), and the Nigerian Charter, he was once quoted as pronouncing that the provisions of the NDDC Act are inconsistent with the ones of the Charter.
That is maximum unlucky. There’s no phase of the NDDC Act that conflicts any constitutional provisions in any respect.
There’s no gainsaying the truth that any other people are being overtly backed on reside telecast specifically one Arc Nya Etok Ezekiel who gave the impression on a reside display TV on Saturday evening on November 30, 2019.
He additionally erroneously hinged his defence of the unlawful meantime control committee at the similar provisions of Segment 171 of the Nigerian Charter 1999.
He similarly misinformed his target market and listeners that the phase offers Mr President the powers to nominate an Intervening time Control Committee for the NDDC concurrently together with his appointment of a brand new Board for the Fee. This statement is maximum flawed, false and deceptive as there’s no such provisions in each criminal tools.
Let or not it’s additionally famous that phase 171 of the Nigerian Charter got here into drive on Might 29, 1999 even sooner than the conception and eventual beginning of the Niger Delta Construction Fee within the yr 2001.
This means that its provisions weren’t framed in anticipation of NDDC or some other frame and their operations which don’t seem to be referred to within the phase underneath reference.
Just like the provisions of sections 2(2)(a) and 5(3) of the NDDC Act 2000 that calls for Senate affirmation of contributors of the Fee, subsection (4) of phase 171 of the Nigerian Charter similarly states that “An appointment to the workplace of Ambassador, Prime Commissioner, or different Most important Consultant of Nigeria in another country shall now not have impact except the appointment is showed via the Senate.
The blended results of the above provisions obviously ascertain the illegality of the 3-man contraption which has been installed position towards public outcry and opposite to each and every excellent will and however the promptness and dispatch with which the Senate handled Mr President’s nominees via correctly stamping them with the seal of legitimacy according to the NDDC Act 2000.
The NDDC Act 2000 underneath phase 2(1) states that ” There’s hereby established for the Fee a governing Board which shall is composed of a Chairman, a Managing Director, two Government Administrators, one board member each and every from the nine oil generating states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Move River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.”
Via this provision and others, the NDDC Act prohibits the 3-man meantime control committee from assuming the accountability to take over the purposes and powers of the Fee.
Let or not it’s famous via all Nigerians and Niger Delta stakeholders that, the truth that Mr. President, a couple of days in the past, has invoked his proper and tool underneath phase 18(1) of the NDDC Act 2000, via presenting funds estimates for the Fee in recognize of 2019 and 2020 to the Nationwide Meeting for attention and approval, does now not give any legitimacy to the Dr Pleasure Nunieh led meantime control committee.
The Intervening time Control Committee isn’t the best authority of the Fee to seem sooner than any related committee of the Nationwide Meeting to shield such funds proposals.
For a deeper and correct working out of the provisions of the NDDC Act and the intentions of contributors of the Nationwide Meeting that labored on its invoice and handed it even thru a two-third majority vote (a couple of of whom are nonetheless provide on this ninth Nationwide Meeting), it will be really useful for the management of the Area to make copies of the Act to be had to all contributors for higher working out of its content material and in appreciation of the efforts in their predecessors.
Then again, one should commend the management of the Senate for persistently encouraging and interesting to the chief to do the requisite via inaugurating the Board with the intention to nip within the bud additional controversy.
In conclusion, I follow with dismay other statements and inferences credited to a few revered contributors of the fairway chambers of Nationwide Meeting insinuating their readiness to paintings with the meantime control committee with reference to the NDDC funds proposals introduced via Mr President as an alternative of status with the Senate in defence of an Act duly handed via the Parliament which impartiality and integrity all of them swore to give protection to on June 11, 2019 when Mr President proclaimed the ninth Nationwide Meeting.
For my part, allying with the placement of the Senate turns out a greater and correct possibility for the Representatives as an alternative of making an attempt to bop to discordant tunes of a few egocentric political gladiators who seem to be determined and made up our minds to hide some previous footprints.
Regardless of the passion, let each and every elected lawmaker stay a lawmaker and each and every political appointee stay an appointee. Via that is supposed to shield, handle and give protection to your establishment whilst the opposite does similar to his or hers personal establishments too.
David Ekuetafia, Esq. is a Constitutional Attorney