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Court orders NDDC to consult Rivers before executing projects in the state

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been ordered to always obtain the consent and approval of the Rivers State Government before executing any project in the state.

This order was handed down on Wednesday by Justice Adolphus Enebele of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt while delivering judgment in a suit filed in 2017 by Governor Nyesom Wike and the then Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State, late Emmanuel Aguma, against the NDDC and its former Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, its former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Derick Meene and others.

The court ordered that no matter the magnitude of the project; street light installation, water provision, road maintenance, jetty construction, or any other infrastructural project, the state government must give its approval before execution.

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The judge, in his ruling, granted a declaration sought by the claimants that under Rivers State Physical Planning Law, Rivers State Land Law and Rivers State Urban Development Law, the NDDC or its agent lacked the power to claim any land or execute any project in any part of the state without the consent of the government.

Justice Enebeli, however, declined to grant part of the claimant’s declaration to invalidate Section 7 and 8 of NDDC Act empowering the commission to develop on the nine states of the Niger Delta region under its purview.

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