Despite Court Order against the confirmation of Presidential New Media Aide, Lauretta Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku, Senate confirms duo for respective roles at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Lawmakers step down confirmation of two others from Edo and Imo States.
The Senate has confirmed Presidential New Media Aide, Lauretta Ifeanyi Onochie as Chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.
The Red Chamber also confirmed Samuel Ogbuku as Managing Director of the Commission for a term of two years to complete the unexpired term of his predecessor in office. OrderPaper had reported that a Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the National Assembly to suspend the screening and possible confirmation of Ms Onochie and Ogbuku; both of whom hail from Delta State as Chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and Managing Director, respectively.
The court had also ordered that all actions on the matter be suspended pending the determination of the suit filed by Chief Edward Ekpokpo Esq., Engr. Victor Wood (both representing the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILOT) and Edward Omagbemi (representing Omadino Unity Forum) on behalf of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality, challenging their nomination.
Senate’s confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees follows the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs by the Acting Chairman, Senator Bulus Amos (APC, Gombe South), during plenary on Tuesday.
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The lawmakers also confirmed Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) from Edo State (South-South) as Executive Director, Finance, as well as Charles Ogunmola from Ondo State (South-West) as Executive Director, Projects.
Ogunmola’s confirmation was carried out amid criticisms that trailed his nomination. The three Senators from his home State had written a protest letter to the Committee on Niger Delta Affairs rejecting his nomination against the backdrop that he is from Owo, a non-oil producing area of the state. Senator Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo South) spoke on behalf of the Deputy Senate Leader, Robert Ajayi Boroffice (APC, Ondo North) and Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central).
Other members of the NDDC Board confirmed on Tuesday include Dimgba Erugba (State Representative, Abia, South-East; Dr Emem Wilcos Wills (State Representative, Akwa Ibom, South-South); Elder Dimaro Denyabofa (State Representative, Bayelsa State, South-South); Hon. Orok Duke (State Representative, Cross River, South-South); and Hon. Gbenga Edema (State Representative, Ondo State, South–West).
Elekwachi Dinkpa (State Representative, Rivers State, South-South); Mohammed Kabir Abubakar (Zonal Representative, Nasarawa State, North-Central); Sule Iko Sadeeq Sani Sami (Zonal Representative, Kebbi State, North-West); and Professor Tahir Mamman, SAN, (Zonal Representative, Adamawa State, North-East) were also successfully screened by the legislative chamber.
READ ALSO: Senators divided over Lauretta Onochie’s eligibility as NDDC Board Chair
The Senate, however, declined the confirmation of a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr Pius Egberanwen Odubu (State Representative, Edo State, South) and Engr. Anthony Okanne (Imo State, South East) for non-appearance before the Committee.
The leadership of the Senate had on Tuesday last week read the Executive Communication from President Buhari that the Chamber considers the request on the confirmation for the appointment as Chairman and Members of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC in accordance with the provisions of Section 2(2)(a) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act, Cap N86 LFN.