NNPCL Chair: Presidency Reacts To Judgement Reinstating Ararume
The judgement reinstated Ararume as the chair of NNPCL, awarded a whopping N5 billion damages in his favour and nullified the decisions the NNPCL board took during the period of his illegal removal from office.
The presidency has reacted to Tuesday’s judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja reinstating Ifeanyi Ararume as the non-executive chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). NNPCL Chair
It said in a short statement on Wednesday that the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation would appeal against the judgement.
“While the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation /Minister for Justice is yet to receive a formal copy of the ruling, the President affirms that due judicial process will be followed, and NNPCL has already taken steps to go on appeal,” Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesperson wrote. NNPCL Chair
The court decision awarded whopping N5 billion damages in favour of Mr Ararume, whose removal from office the court adjudged to be illegal on Tuesday.
Mr Ararume had said he only got to know of his abrupt removal from office when another person was named as his replacement at the inauguration ceremony in January 2022.
By that time, Mr Ararume had been performing the roles of his office for months, and was only waiting for official inauguration to office.
No reason was given for the withdrawal of his appointment, with the former governorship candidate in Imo State insisting in court that President Muhammadu Buhari lacked the power to remove him after he had been appointed.
In the far-reaching judgement upholding his case on Tuesday, the court nullified all the decisions the board of the NNPCL had taken since his removal from office. NNPCL Chair
The presidency said Wednesday that Mr Buhari “has taken due notice of judgment by the Federal High Court, Abuja, restoring Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the non-executive Chairman of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).”
Besides announcing the government’s decision to appeal against the judgement, the presidency said the Buhari administration “respects the rule of law, and nothing will be done outside it to resolve the matter.”
“He sues for calm from all sides involved,” the statement added.
Mr Ararume, who was appointed to the position in September 2021, was removed shortly before the inauguration of the board of the company in January 2022.
He sued Mr Buhari and the NNPCL at the Federal High Court in Abuja on 12 September to challenge his removal about eight months earlier. NNPCL Chair
He contended that his removal by through a letter dated 17 January 2022 with reference number SGF. 3V111/86 was a violation of the CAMA law under which NNPCL was incorporated.
He argued that his sacking was “wrongful,” and amounted to “disruption and interruption” of the term of his office.
He said it violated various provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters (CAMA), 2020, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021, and the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
He prayed for N100 billion damages and an order reinstating him to the office.
He also urged the court to set aside all the decisions the NNPC Limited’s board had taken since his wrongful removal from office.
Mr Ararume said in his suit that the inauguration of the board on 7 January with another person named as the non-executive chairman of the company came to him as a surprise.
He said he only received a letter dated 17 January informing him of the withdrawal of his appointment 10 days after the inauguration of the board.
“That no reasons whatsoever were adduced by the 1st defendant in the said letter 17th day of January 2022, warranting my purported removal or withdrawal of my appointment as the non-executive chairman of the 2nd defendant,” he wrote in his affidavit filed in support of his suit. NNPCL Chair
NNPCL Chair: Presidency reacts to judgement reinstating Ararume.