19 May 2015, Asaba – A court in Jeremi has restrained the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) from passing a bill that seeks to alter the law or the centralized structure of the law establishing the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
The court also directed the Speaker of the state legislature to organize a public hearing on the said executive bill in the interest of Delta citizens, before any further deliberation on the bill.
The directive, as reflected in a certified true copy of the ruling by the High Court sitting in Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area, on Tuesday, followed the granting of a restraining order sought by plaintiffs in a substantive suit No.HCG/20/2015 between Chief Eric Obofukoro and 10 others against the Delta State government, Attorney-General of the State and the DTHA as defendants.
The trial Judge, Justice Anthony Akpovi, ruled thus: “The Delta State Government and the DTHA (1st and 3rd Defendants) are restrained from scrapping, repealing or decentralizing DESOPADEC as presently constituted under the law Cap D23 Delta State Laws till final determination of this suit.
“As an A.D.R. (Alternative Dispute Resolution) court, it is my further directive that the DTHA have (sic) public hearing on the matter in the interest of Deltans and an ADR meeting hosted by the Speaker be called immediately with stakeholders of all tribes involved to explain the content of the bill and why it is coming now which seems to be the question troubling the applicants.”
The substantive suit has accordingly been fixed for June 10 June, 2015 for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (A.D.R.) report of settlement from the 3rd defendant (DTHA) through its counsel, the Director of Civil Litigation, failing which there will be adoption of all written addresses.
In his reaction, the Coordinator, Oil Producing Communities of Delta State, Prince Maikpobi Okareme, said that he was sure that the DTHA as a law abiding body would comply with the court order.
– This Day