Adegboruwa says dissolution of NDDC board illegal, urges its reinstatement

Ebun-Olu-AdegboruwaLagos lawyer and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to examine the facts surrounding the alleged illegal dissolution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and graciously direct its immediate re-instatement as he has done with those of other agencies.

On July 16, 2015, Buhari, through a circular signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, announced the dissolution of the governing boards of all Federal Government parastatals, agencies, institutions and government-owned companies.

But the lawyer in a statement said, given the clear provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act, the dissolution was unlawful.

He said NDDC could not have been among the agencies whose boards were dissolved by that announcement but that on July 23, 2015, a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), was addressed to the Managing Director of the NDDC, for the implementation of the above circular, for the purpose of dissolving the NDDC Board.

He recalled that the Federal Government had on December 16, 2013, inaugurated the 4th Governing Board of the Niger-Delta Development Commission. “This was after members of the said Board had been thoroughly screened by security agents and were all cleared and confirmed by the two Chambers of the National Assembly. The appointment was for a four year tenure, to end on December 15, 2017”, he said.

He stated that under and by virtue of section 3 of the NDDC Establishment Act, “ a member of the Board, other than an ex-officio member, shall hold office for a term of four years at the first instance and may be re-appointed for a further term of four years and no more.”

According to him, the NDDC Establishment Act makes no provision for the removal of the Commission’s Board members before the expiration of the four year tenure, except the member resigns, is of unsound mind, is convicted by a court or is disciplined by his professional association or is found guilty of misconduct.

“None of these is applicable in this case. Consequently, the dissolution of the NDDC Governing Board is illegal and violates the clear provisions of section 5 of the NDDC Act.

“It is important to state that the NDDC Governing Board is in the same category of those agencies established under section 153 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, whose tenure enjoy statutory flavour. It cannot be dissolved by a general circular, without complying with the provisions of the enabling Act”, he declared.

His words: “Furthermore, the President has since the realisation that some of the affected Boards are regulated by statue, given due directive, for the re-instatement of these boards, like the EFCC, ICPC and even the Governing Councils of Federal Universities.

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