The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has taken steps to appeal the restoration of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the company’s non-executive Chairman. This was contained a statement on Wednesday by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President stated that he has taken due notice of judgment by the Federal High Court, Abuja, which reinstated Ararume, adding that his administration respects the Rule of Law, and nothing will be done outside the law, to resolve the matter.
President Buhari while noting that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice is yet to receive a formal copy of the ruling, stressed that due judicial process will be followed, and that the NNPCL has already taken steps to go on appeal. The president sued for calm from all sides involved in the matter.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday reinstated Ararume as NNPCL non-Executive Chairman. The Court voided his sack and set aside the removal done on January 17, 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari on the ground that the action of the President was unlawful and illegal.
Delivering Judgement in a suit instituted by Ararume, Justice Ekwo awarded the sum of N5Bn against Buhari and NNPCL to be paid to Ararume as damages for his wrongful sack. Justice Ekwo ordered that Ararume be immediately restored to office as non-Executive Chairman of the NNPCL.
The judge also declared as null and void all decisions of the Board of Directors of the NNPCL carried out in the absence of Ararume. The judge further held that President 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.
Ararume had sued Buhari, praying the Court to declare his removal as NNPC Chief, illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional and that it is a total breach of the CAMA law under which NNPCL was incorporated.
Aside asking the court to issue an order to return him to office, he also demanded the sum of N100 billion as compensation for damages he suffered all these while following his removal by President Buhari.