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Group heads to court to challenge Gov Okowa’s appointment

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Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), has approached a Delta State High Court in Warri to challenge Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s reappointment of an Itsekiri person as the chairman of the Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

The governor had appointed Michael Diden, popularly known as Ejele, who hails from Itsekiri as DESOPADEC chairman.

But the anti-corruption group, in its suit before the court, urged it to nullify the appointment on the grounds that the former chairman of the board, Chief Godwin Ebosa, was from the same ethnic nationality (Itsekiri).

It said the action of the governor negated the provision of the act establishing the interventionist agency.

Joined as respondents in the suit are Okowa (1st defendant), Attorney General of Delta State (2nd defendant), Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly (3rd defendant) and DESOPADEC chairman, Hon. Michael Diden (4th defendant).

A statement issued and made available to Ripples Nigeria by a member, Board of Trustee (BoT) and publicity secretary of CHURAC, Oyinkedi Fuofegha, said the case had been slated for hearing on August 19, 2019 at the State High Court in Warri.

He said the suit was filed on behalf of the claimant by J.P Oromoni.

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“It seeks the declaration of the court to compel Governor Okowa (1st defendant) to withdraw the appointment of the Ejele (4thDefendant) as he is not qualified to be appointed as board chairman pending the determination of the substantive suit”, the statement said.

It added that “by the virtue of the provisions of Section 15(1), (2) a & b and (3) of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law, 2015 (as amended in 2019) the 1st Defendant cannot nominate for appointment any person as a member of the governing board of DESOPADEC whose ethnic nationality produced the immediate past Board Member of the same office.”

Ejele was sworn in as chairman of DESOPADEC board alongside 16 others on July 31th by Governor Okowa in Asaba, the state capital.

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