Lawyers Writes Senate, Says
Nomination of Onochie as NDDC Board Chair, in Tandem with NDDC Act

By Gabriel Choba

Legal Practitioners in Nigeria has written to the President of the Nigeria Senate, Ahmed Lawan, stating that the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as Chairman of the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari is in tandem with the Act establishing the NDDC.

The Lawyers under Yusuf Dankofa and Co, in a letter duly signed by Prof. Yusuf Dankofa, Professor of Law, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and made available to newsmen, the legal Practitioners described the many petitions sent to the national assembly by those opposed to Lauretta Onochie’s appointment as baseless and unfounded.

The letter read in parts; “We are legal practitioners with interests in Human Rights and Public Interest Litigations. It has become imperative to lend our voice to stop the ongoing campaign of calumny and hatred against Lauretta Onochie who was recently nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chairman of NDDC. “

“We have watched with amusement how purveyors of falsehood and merchants of distortions have been busy forwarding baseless and unfounded petitions against the nomination of this helpless woman of substance and it will be in the overall interest of public good to say emphatically that their grounds of resentment and opposition are without proper legal foundation.”

Drawing the attention of the Senate President to part 2, section 2(1) of the said NDDC Act with provisions for members of the Board and their appointments, the lawyers stated that the section of NDDC Act was very explicit and manifestly unambiguous that a nominee for the position of the chairman need not come from an oil producing area, adding that the said provision has laid down the conditions that it is the other members of the board that must come from oil producing area.

“we therefore submit that with the greatest respect that no law or statute can invalidate the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as there is more whatsoever”. The letter further read.

They noted that only the appointment of the Executive Directors and other members are the only ones subjected and predicated on the oil producing indigeneity and not the Lauretta Onochie, noting that it is an aberration and a misguided understanding of the law for any group to canvass that the nomination of Lauretta Onochie ultra vires the NDDC Act.

The lawyers however urged the Nigeria Senate not to allow petitions sway it’s decisions, noting that allowing such will create avenue where politically desperate people will continue to irritate, dehumanize and consistently sabotage government efforts at bringing credible, visionary and transformational people on board to assist in driving the change agenda.

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