The sack of Bassey Dan-Abia, former Managing Director Niger Delta Development Commission midway into his tenure has elicited the anger of four Akwa-Ibom based lawyers, Aniekan Akpan, Essien Obong, Akpadiaha Ebitu and Emmanuel Ukor, chairmen of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Eket and Oron branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA who have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo.
The anger further fueled by the appointment of Mrs. Ibim Semenitari who yesterday reiterated her commitment to the Niger Delta, a non-indigene of Akwa Ibom State as the acting Managing Director of NDDC after the termination of Mr. Dan Abia’s appointment on December 21, 2015 (he was appointed in December 3, 2013) owing the fact that the four-year tenure was allocated to Akwa Ibom State deeming this as unlawful and a gross violation of the people’s right.
Other respondents in the suit are the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Ibim Semenitari herself.
Citing relevant sections of the NDDC Act, the plaintiffs in the suit are seeking the court to compel the President to terminate Semenitari’s appointment and also an order of the court compelling the President to “Immediately appoint any Akwa Ibom State indigene as “Acting” Managing Director or alternatively, the Managing Director of NDDC to be presented to the National Assembly for confirmation to complete the four years tenure of office allocated to the state.
“Semenitari’s appointment is illegal and a gross violation of the rights of Akwa Ibom people, particularly lawyers of Akwa Ibom origin, and equally a violation of the principles of proportional sharing of bureaucratic offices as enshrined in the Federal Character Commission Act Cap F7 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
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