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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Court reinstates Sen Ararume as NNPCL board chairman

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has declared the removal of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as non-Executive Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) as illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional. Justice Inyang Ekwo restored Ararume to his position and awarded N5 billion in damages against President Muhammadu Buhari and NNPCL for the wrongful sack and disruption of his appointment.

Ararume had filed a suit against Buhari, claiming that his removal was a total breach of the Corporate Affairs and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) law under which NNPCL was incorporated. In addition to being reinstated to his position, Ararume also demanded N100 billion as compensation for the damages he suffered nationally and internationally due to the unlawful manner in which his removal was carried out by Buhari.

Justice Ekwo held that Buhari acted ultra vires, wrongful, illegal, null and void, in the ways and manners Ararume was sacked after using his name to register NNPCL, and that such brazen act cannot stand in the face of the law. The Judge also declared all decisions of the Board of Directors of the NNPCL carried out in the absence of Ararume as null and void.

The court judgment reverses Buhari’s appointment of Senator Margery Okadigbo as the new NNPCL chairman, after the removal of Senator Ararume. The Judge ordered that Ararume be immediately restored to his position as non-Executive Chairman of the NNPCL.

The reinstatement of Senator Ararume as NNPCL Board Chairman is a significant victory for the rule of law and demonstrates that nobody is above the law. The judgment also serves as a deterrent against the arbitrary and wrongful removal of public officials from their positions

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