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Delta Governor Lands In Court Over Appointment

By kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

For appointing the former member who represented Warri north Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Mr. Michael Diden, popularly addressed as Edjle by his admirers as chairman, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission ((DESOPADEC), the registered Trustees, Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), has dragged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state and three others before the Delta state high court.

The group in the suit No. W/154/2019 also involved the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor, Speaker of State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and Mr Michael Diden as defendants.

Mr J.P Oromoni counsel to the group told the court to compel Governor Okowa (1st Defendant) to immediately withdraw the appointment of Michael Diden (4th Defendant) whom he said is not qualified to hold office as Chairman of the Governing Board of DESOPADEC as his (Diden) ethnic nationality had produced the immediate past Chairman of the Commission.

The court summon dated 7 August, 2019, and obtained by our corresppndent Friday, the claimant prayed the court to nullify the confirmation of the 4th Defendant by the 3rd Defendant as chairman in the Governing Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law.

He sought for perpetual injunction restraining Diden from acting in the capacity of the Chairman of the Commission or whatsoever subject to the provisions of the Law relating to the rotational circle as provided in the Law.

Also compelling Governor Okowa to comply with the provisions of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law, 2015 (as amended) in constituting the new Governing Board Members of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission.

He said, "That by virtue of the provisions of Section 15(1), (2) a & b and (3) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law, 2015 (as amended) the 1st Defendant cannot nominate for appointment any person as a member of the Governing Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission whose ethnic nationality produced the immediate past Board Member of the same office.

"Appointing the 4th Defendant as Chairman from Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality into the governing board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission having earlier appointed one Godwin Ebosa as Chairman in the Governing Board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) from the same Itsekiri ethnic nationality in 2015 is an aberration.

Oromoni urged the court that by virtue of Sections 2, 7(1) a, b & c and (2) and Section 15(1), (2) a & b and (3) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law, 2015 (as amended) no Ethnic Nationality who has produced or is producing either the Chairman, the Managing Director or the Executive Directors can succeed itself without following the rotational circle as provided for in the Law.

However, the claimant told the court to compel the defendants tp put up an appearance with 30 days after service of this summons on them, inclusive of the day of such service cause an appearance to be entered for them and file any other process in response to this summons which is issued upon the application of the Originating Summons of the Claimant .