●Warns the public against having any dealings with new board
●Urges president to reverse his decision and allow the flow of the rule of law
Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume has reacted to the appointment of new board and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, which purported to upend his court-validated chairmanship of the board of the national oil company, describing the fresh appointment made by President Bola Tinubu on the 27th November, 2023, as “illegal, wrongful, null and void and of no legal consequence.”
Araraume’s reaction was contained in a release dated November 30, 2023, entitled: “PUBLIC NOTICE: CAVEAT EMPTOR- PURPORTED APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHAIRMAN OF NNPC LIMITED”, and signed on his behalf by Dr Ogwu J. Onoja (SAN).
Read the release: “Our attention has been drawn to the news of the appointment of new members of NNPC Limited Board including a new Non-Executive Chairman by the President on the 27th November, 2023, in utter violation of the judgment and order of the Federal High Court, Abuja dated 18th April, 2023 in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1621/2022 – Between Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume v. The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, NNPC Ltd and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) wherein the court restrained the President from removing the name of Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume from the Corporate Affairs Commission as a Non-Executive Director of NNPC Ltd and that he be allowed to continue to function as the Chairman of the Board of NNPC Ltd. This judgment remains valid and subsisting until this moment without being set aside.
“We state that the purported appointment amounts to a flagrant disobedience of court order and brazen disregard of the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction. We are appalled and shocked that the President could brazenly disobey the court judgment by purporting to appoint a New Board and Management Team for NNPC Ltd instead of giving implementation to the said judgment of the Federal High Court delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo on the 18th of April, 2023.
“It is shocking that rather than obey the valid and extant judgment of the court, the President has taken the laws into his hands to overrule the courts and usurp the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal before who, the President has filed an appeal which is pending, by taking steps to undermine the judgment by such illegal appointments. This singular act of Mr. President unfortunately denotes a wanton disregard for rule of law and a direct affront on the Judiciary.
“With the said judgment still valid and subsisting, it is clear as crystal even to the common man that the appointment of the new Board and Management of the NNPC Ltd by the President on the 27th November, 2023, is illegal, wrongful, null and void and of no legal consequence.
“By this Notice, the general public is therefore warned to beware of those illegal appointments in their own interest. The public is urged to avoid having any dealings whatsoever with the new Board and Management of the NNPC Ltd as anyone who goes ahead to do any business or transactions with them will be doing so at his or her own peril.
“We hereby call on Mr President, who is a huge beneficiary of judicial pronouncements and rule of law, to reverse his decision and allow the flow of the rule of law.
“Mr President should have known that respect for rule of law is equally a strong factor in the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FOI), which he has been traveling all over the world to promote.”