Officials of the embattled Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have yet to respond since a High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, ordered it not to dare execute any project in the state except with the consent of Governor Nyesom Wike.
A judge, Adolphus Enebeli, while delivering judgment, granted a declaration sought by the government that under Rivers State Land Law, and Urban Development Law, the NDDC or its agent has no power to claim any land or execute any project in any part of Rivers State without the consent of the government.
Few years back, the NDDC and the Wike administration had brushes, especially over right to execute a road in Etche area of the state. The state government also pushed the Commission out of a partnership project, accusing the NDDC of stalling in paying its part of the funding. The state’s revenue board also sealed the gates of the Commission twice.
The relationship has continued on a sad note, and now the High Court judgment which has put paid to about 60 projects planned in the state by the NDDC.
Governor Wike had in 2017, through the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, sued the NDDC, its former Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, and former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Derek Mene, for carrying out activities in the state without the consent of the government.
Most NDDC top leaders are believed to be sympathisers or members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while the Rivers State government is controlled by the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
No response has emanated from the Commission’s media unit. Inquiries sent Thursday afternoon also failed to attract any response.
Sources, however, hinted that the verdict may only hurt the host state and not the Commission as over 60 projects would have to wait. It is not clear if the funds for them would have to wait too.