Osagie said that the NDDC has been operating outside the purview of the law setting it up, alleging that Buhari was misled by the kind of advice he was receiving and instead, he should reconstitute the board and not continue in illegality.
Osagie made the statement while fielding questions on Arise TV’s ‘Saturday Morning Show’ program discussing President Buhari’s stalling on a new NDDC board.
He said that the appointment of the interim management to oversee the affairs of the NDDC was unknown to law.
“Now a coup was plotted in order to ensure that the governing board, which has been screened and confirmed does not take over the running affairs of the NDDC. I call it a coup because the appointment of the interim management is unknown to any law in Nigeria.
“And they plotted the coup, suspended the operation of the NDDC Act with respect to the management of the NDDC. And then came an interim body, from there to the sole administrator,” he said.
Osagie further added that the NDDC Act did not give the president the power to suspend it.
“Now with respect to the forensic audit, which the president ordered, I want to say that the NDDC Act itself did state that the president shall have the power to monitor, supervise and give direction to the NDDC. But the law did not say that the president has the power to suspend the NDDC Act, and then carry out any other things outside the purview of the NDDC.
“And that is why I said, with the greatest respect, that the president is being misinformed, he is being misled into all these anomalies and blatant disregard for the law setting up the agency. And then, what is more, this anomaly is being perpetrated three years down the line. And it is not fair,” he said.
Osagie, while stating the implications of an NDDC without a properly constituted board, said NDDC, as was presently constituted, denies the people of the Niger Delta their right.
“The people of Niger Delta and various segments of it are crying almost every day and agitating that what is going on is an attempt to take what has been given to us by the right hand. It is not done anywhere.
“The North East Development Commission is up and running. We know it is a new agency, but it is created by the same law made by the National Assembly. So if they have corruption charges, which I have agreed; because NDDC has become a cesspool of corruption by those who have run in the past, correcting it will not be by an illegal means. You cannot bring correction by illegal means”, he said.
NDDC had been in the eye of the storm for three years and counting following allegations of massive corruption, which led to the disbandment of its governing board by President Buhari and setting up of an interim management board instead.