Top Itsekiri leaders on Tuesday charged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, to resist the urge to defy the judicial process by avoiding what will render nugatory issues presented by Chief Edward Ekpoko, and Engineer Victor Wood who are representing the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought and Mr. Edward Omagbemi who is representing Omadino Unity Forum to the Court.
‘We have done all that is required of them by submitting for judicial consideration and determination their grievances against the Executive and Legislative Arms of Government, it behooves these Arms of Government to resist the urge to defy the Judiciary and indeed the judicial process by refraining from conducts which will render nugatory issues presented by our Clients to the Court,’’ says the leaders.
They also kicked against the inauguration of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku as such will not only jeopardize the outcome of the litigation process but concomitantly operate to completely erase the confidence reposed in the Judiciary by the common man and a clog in the wheel of the administration of justice.
‘’We have cause to believe, as documentary evidence clearly suggests, that the Federal Government through the Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, is making frantic and brazen efforts to inaugurate Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku as the substantive Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the Niger Delta Development Commission despite the pendency of the suit as well as several applications, and order made by the Court, with the sole aim of stealing a match, stultifying the ·court process and bringing the Rule of Law to ridicule’’.
In a letter to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the leaders urged the Federal government not to proceed with the inauguration of Mrs Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku as the Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
‘’As the Chief Law Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and a strong proponent of the Rule of Law, you will not in any way advise the President and indeed the Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, to proceed with the inauguration of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and Chief Samuel Ogbuku on January 4, 2023, as the Chairman and Managing Director respectively of the NDDC and or concretize their positions, pending the outcome of the adjudicatory process already initiated by our Clients’’.
The letter written by Ama Etuwewe (SAN) & Co, Solicitors to the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality ably represented by Chief Edward Ekpoko, Mr. Edward Omagbemi and Engineer Victor Wood, urged the Minister of Justice to counsel the relevant parties on the need to allow the judicial process take its course and refrain from taking steps which will ridicule the Rule of Law and further weaken our nascent democratic structure.