THE Itsekiri people of Warri, Delta State, have taken the federal government, the Senate and others to court over alleged wrong nomination of the candidate for the position of Executive Director, (Project) in the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Barrister Robinson Ariyo an activist while addressing newsmen in Warri recently, on behalf of the Itsekiri people said, they are challenging the nomination at a Federal High Court in Abuja, in suit number FHC/ABJ/05/700/2016, seeking an interim injunction restraining Engr. Samuel Adjogbe Ajenakevwe from been cleared for the appointment as the EDP on the Board of the NDDC.
Ariyo called on the Nigerian Senate to halt the screening of the Delta State candidate nominated for the position of Executive Director, Projects (EDP) in the board of Niger Delta Development Commission, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe Ajenakevwe, saying his nomination is against the principle of Federal character.
According to Ariyo, candidates presented for nomination on the board from Delta State were usually rotated among the five ethnic groups in the state, adding that the tenure of the former director, an Itsekiri man, in the board was halted before the expiration of his tenure, therefore must be replaced with someone from the same ethnic group to complete their quota tenure.
While saying that he was not against any ethnic group in the state, he said what he and others were agitating for was for the benefit of every ethnic groups in the state. He stressed that what is happening to the Itsekiri ethnic group could happen to others in future.
He noted that the Urhobo ethnic group once protested in similar manner when there was a vacancy in the commission in 2003.
He said, “I could remember sometimes back when Engr. Godwin Omene, an Urhobo, could not complete his four years tenure as Managing Director, NDDC, Senator Emmanuel Agwariavwodo completed it. Elder P. Z. Aghinighan, an Ijaw, did not complete his tenure as Executive Director (Finance and Administration), but another Ijaw man, Lambart Kumboye completed it. Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, an Isoko, could not complete his four term, but his brother Solomon Ogba completed the tenure.”
Ariyo disclosed that he was speaking as the counsel to the three Engineers from the Itsekiri Ethnic extraction who vied for the vacant position in the Commission and two others.
The three engineers are, Engr. Sunny Demi-Ejegi, Engr. Toju Victor Afinotan and Engr. George Aghaninoma. The two other plantiffs are, David Odeli and Felix Ighomieyetan.
“We want the National Assembly to know that we have approached the Court to stop the nomination of the Delta State candidate nominated for the position of Executive Director, Projects (EDP) in the board of Niger Delta Development Commission, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe Ajenakevwe. It is our appeal therefore to members of the Nigerian Senate to please stop his screening, his screening should be put on hold pending the determination of our Court case against his nomination”, he added.