A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday advised President Muhammadu Buhari; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Senate of the National Assembly; Lauretta Onochie; and Chief Samuel Ogbuku on the consequences of flouting an earlier restraining order.
This was contained in a notice of consequences of disobedience to order of court dated December 23, 2022.
In it, the court passed directions to President Buhari, Lawan, Onochie and Ogbuku.
It said: “Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in this order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.”
Last week, the Court granted an order stopping the National Assembly from screening and confirming the nomination of Onochie and Ogbuku by President Buhari into the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The presiding judge, Justice J. K. Omotosho, instructed that all actions on the matter be suspended pending the determination of the suit.
Chief Edward Ekpoko and Engineer Victor Wood, who are representing the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought and Edward Omagbemi, who is representing Omadino Unity Forum, all on behalf of the Itsekiri ethnic nationality of Delta State are seeking whether upon the proper construction of Section 12 (1) and other enabling sections of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment Etc) Act 2000 as amended and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it is not the turn of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality of Delta State, the highest oil producing region of Delta State, to produce the next Chairman and Managing Director of the NDDC.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the nomination of Onochie, who hails from a non-oil producing area in Delta State, as Chairman of the NDDC by President Buhari is unlawful for being contrary to the intent and purpose of the NDDC Act.
They are also seeking a declaration that the nomination of Ogbuku, who hails from Bayelsa State, as Managing Director of NDDC by President Buhari, when it is the turn of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality of Delta State to produce the Managing Director of the Commission, is unlawful for being contrary to the intent and purpose of the NDDC Act.
Particularly, they are seeking an order quashing the nomination of Onochie and Ogbuku as Chairman and Managing Director as well as restraining the President of the Senate and the Senate of the National Assembly from screening and confirming them as Chairman and Managing Director respectively.
The matter was adjourned to January 11, 2023 for further hearing.