The people of Tisun Community of Warri North Local Government Area of
Delta State have approached a federal high court sitting in Benin
City, Edo State for disqualification of Bernard Okumagba’s nomination
as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), urging President
Muhammadu Buhari to adhere strictly to the laws that established the
In an affidavit deposed to by David Odeli, Steven Etsano, and David
Iwere Tisun Community against Buhari, the National Assembly, the NDDC
and Okumagba, the community said Odeli: “That I am the first
Plaintiff/Applicant in this suit and the secretary of Tisun Community
management council in the Warri North Local Government Area of Delta
State Nigeria. Tisun Community is a host Community to Chevron/NNPC
Joint Ventures, operators of the oil mining licence (OML 49) and by
virtue of which I am conversant with the fact of this case.
“That the 5th defendant is a Nigerian and from Okere-Orhobo Community
in Warri-South Local Government Area of Delta State, a non-oil-bearing
area/community and a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic
“That on the 27th day of August, 2019, the office of the Secretary to
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, announced that the 1st
defendant/respondent has nominated and about to forward the name of
the 5th defendant/respondent to the 3rd defendant/respondent for
screening and confirmation as the managing director of the 4th
That the said announcement of the name of the 5th defendant/respondent
was published in all the national dailies including the vanguard of on
the 28th August 2019, the said vanguard publication is attached and
marked as Exhibit “B”.
“That I know as a fact that the 5th defendant/respondent is an
indigene of Okere Orhobo community and whose community is not an
“That I also know as a fact that the fifth defendant/respondent being
an indigene of Okere Orhobo community and whose community is not an
oil-bearing community/area cannot be nominated, screened, confirmed
and be appointed as the managing director of the 4th defendant.”
Odeli stated further in the affidavit: “That I also know as a fact
that persons nominated, screened, confirmed as managing director of
the 4th defendant/respondent over the years have been persons from an
“That I also know as a fact that one Engr. Omene Joseph who is from
Omosogar in Ethiope East Local government of Delta State, an
oil-bearing community/area was nominated and his name forwarded to be
screened and confirmed by the 3rd defendant as the managing director
of the 4th defendant.
“That I also know as a fact that one Emmanuel Aguvariawado an indigene
of Okpara in Otu-Jeremi in Ugheli South Local Government of Delta
State an oil-bearing community/area was also nominated and his name
forwarded to the 3rd defendant for Screening and confirmation in the
year 2013 though on an acting capacity of the 4th defendant.
“That I know as a fact that the 5th defendant/respondent is from Okere
Urhobo Community in Warri South Local Government of Delta State a non
Oil bearing community/area, the list of the oil-bearing
communities/areas in the Warri South Local Government of Delta State
are as follows: Omadinor community, Obodo community, Gbokodo
community, Wakanor community.”
Arguing further, the affidavit stated, “That the nomination and
forwarding of the name of the 5th defendant/respondent to the 3rd
defendant/respondent to be screened and confirmed as the Managing
Director of the 4th Defendant/Respondent is not valid.
“That I know as a fact that the 5th defendant/respondent not being an
indigene of an oil-bearing community/area cannot be appointed as the
managing director of the 4th defendant.
“That I also know as a fact that the forwarding of the 5th
defendant/respondent name to the 3rd Defendant/Respondent for
screening and confirmation will spark up agitation/crisis amongst the
oil-bearing communities/areas in Delta State.
“That I also know as a fact that the 5th defendant/respondent not
being an indigene of an oil-bearing community/area, if screened and
confirmed by the 3rd defendant, may not be able to perform/ carry out
the functions of the 4th defendant/respondent equitably.”
Odeli argued further: “That the purported announcement of the name of
the 5th defendant/respondent on the 27th day of August 2019 by the 1st
defendant and its agents is targeted at putting the oil-bearing
communities/area into untold crisis.
“That I also know as a fact that the decision taken by the 1st
defendant/respondent, if not reversed and fresh nomination made, the
oil-bearing communities in Delta State will be thrown into a state of
anarchy and confusion including the plaintiffs/applicants community.
“That unless this honourable court invoke its equitable jurisdiction
to intervene, the defendants/respondents will continue in their
illegal act of the appointment of the 5th defendant as the managing
director of the 4th defendant/respondent.
“That the act of the defendants/respondents will undermine the right
of the plaintiffs/applicants and that that of their community, an
oil-bearing community, if not checked by the intervention of this
“That there is a serious issue to be tried to the substantive/main suit.
“That the injunction sought will not prejudice any of the parties but
will preserve the res pending the hearing and determination of this
suit already filed in this Honourable court.
“That the balance of convenience is in favour of the plaintiffs/applicants.
“That I undertake to salvage any damage that could result in the
unlikely event that this order ought not to be granted in the first
“That I do solemnly and sincerely declare that Act. , I make this
solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and
correct by virtue of the provision of the oath.”
There have been numerous litigation and protests across Niger Delta
states since Buhari announced the NDDC board appointments in August
with calls to him not to violate the existing laws that established
SaharaReporters, New York