Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, yesterday, threw out an application brought before it by the Counsel for Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) seeking to strike out a suit against the commission by a group in the Niger Delta region.
A group under the umbrella of Aggrieved Niger Delta Youths, (ANDY) had last month approached the court demanding justice on an alleged neglect by the NDDC to deliver information and development to the people of the region.
The group in suit with file number FHC/PH/CS/141/2015 is challenging the alleged failure of the board of NDDC to give the youths of the area their entitlements from the Federal Government.
But counsel for NDDC, Barr. Ekanem Ekenem during his argument asked the court not to strike the case.
In her ruling the court presided by Justice Uche Agumo after listening to argument from both parties ruled that the case brought before it has merit as against the claim by the defendant’s counsel and struck out the application on the ground that it was not duly filed.
The counsel for the plaintiff, Mr. Chris Ojobeagu expressed happiness that the court has accepted to entertain the suit brought by an aggrieved group.
Ojobeangu said, “The incompetency of the application of the defendant’s counsel was laughable. Today the application has been taken but the counsel was even forced to withdraw the application in the course of the argument.”
“The Application was withdrawn because it was incompetent. The Application was on a contorted ground and was brought on the ground that we did not frontload the application with documents that were necessary in our originating process meanwhile we did.
“Our demand is that the NDDC should make public any information about the projects brought to the people of the region by the federal government. The group is accusing the NDDC board of diverting the money allegedly meant for the development of the area to personal purses.”
Similarly, Mr. Amatari Bipeiedel the leader of the group has applauded the court for its discretion which he (Amatari) said was for the interest of justice.
Bipeiedel also said that the group has confidence that the court will give the group the justice which they demand, adding “The judiciary is our hope.”
The court has adjourned till 2nd and 3rd of February for hearing of the substantive suit.