Niger Delta Commission, NDDC Dragged To Court By Civic Groups Over Failure To Provide 2020 Budget Details
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been sued by a number of civic organizations, including the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), and Abia State NDDC Advocacy groups, for failing to release its 2020 budget in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act’s requirements.
J.C. Anyigor Esq. of NCN & Partners Law Firm in Umuahia, Abia State, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the groups on December 22, 2022, with suit No. FHC/UMU/CS/349/2022.
They based their position on Order 34 Rules 3(1) & (2) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and the Honorable Court for Judicial Review’s inherent jurisdiction.
The groups in the earlier Freedom of Information letter asked NDDC for its 2020 Budget, information about the purchases made during the time, vendors used in the purchase process, information about the bidding process, information about the contractors who carried out the projects, information about the locations of the completed projects, and information about the procedure for paying the contractors.
The request was made in accordance with the rules of the FOI Act, which gives citizen organizations the right to ask government agencies, people, and businesses for information.
In contrast, the NDDC recommended that the organizations contact the National Assembly for the budget and pay the commission the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand Naira (N350,000.00) in certified bank funds as a processing charge to prepare the needed documentation.
The court action was launched, according to Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, Executive Director of FENRAD, to compel the commission to disclose all the information.
The non-profit, non-governmental Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD) was founded. Human rights, democracy, good governance, environmental protection, and social justice are its main concerns.
The goal of FENRAD is to uphold and defend human rights while promoting and protecting the interests of vulnerable groups and the environment through the direct involvement of all stakeholders. With a focus on a variety of aspects of community development, security governance, budgetary monitoring and evaluation, social inclusion, human rights, social justice, environmental management, and justice in the Niger-Delta region, FENRAD has actively played a significant role in community development over the years.
The Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action) strives to advance resource democracy, social justice, and human rights in the commerce, public budgets, environment, and climate change sectors. They collaborate with communities, activists, and academics to support social change in Nigeria and other African nations in the Gulf of Guinea region through research, monitoring, popular education, and advocacy.
The purpose of Social Action is to advance platforms that encourage change toward better democratic practices, people-oriented policy, improved livelihoods, and human rights, as well as solutions to environmental and social issues. Their goal is to establish a democratic system in which groups of responsible citizens work together to create just societies and environments that are suitable for the growth and maintenance of life.
NDDC Dragged To Court By Civic Groups Over Failure To Provide 2020 Budget Details