Buhari To Appeal Court Judgement On Ararume Reinstatement As NNPC Non- Executive Chair
The President, Muhammadu Buhari says he will appeal the court judgment which ordered the reinstatement of Ifeanyi Ararume as a non-executive chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
It will be recalled Buhari had appointed Araume as board chairman of the national oil firm in September 2021, but he was later sacked and replaced by Margaret Chuba Okadigbo in January of the following year.
Ararume — a former senator representing Imo north — had sued the president, arguing that his sack was “wrongful,” and amounted to “disruption and interruption” of the term of his office.
In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, ordered that the former senator be reinstated as a non-executive chairman of the NNPC, with all rights and privileges due to him.
The court also set aside all decisions made by the board after the removal of Ararume in January 2022 till date. The sum of N5 billion was also awarded as damages in his favor.
Reacting, Buhari in a statement on Wednesday, by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina said steps have already been taken to appeal the verdict.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has taken due notice of [the] judgment by the federal high court, Abuja, restoring senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the non-executive chairman of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL),” the statement reads.
“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.
“The 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.”