Reactions are pouring after a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday reinstated Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Ararume as non-Executive Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited NNPCL.
The Court voided and set aside his removal done on January 17, 2023, by President Muhammadu Buhari on the ground that the action of the President was arbitrary, unlawful and illegal.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo in a judgment in a suit by Ararume awarded N5bn against Buhari and the NNPCL to be paid to Ararume as damages for the wrongful sack and disruption of his appointment.
Justice Ekwo ordered that Ararume be immediately restored to office as a 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.
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 a brazen act cannot stand in the face of the law.
Ararume had dragged Buhari before the Court praying it to declare his removal as NNPC Chief illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and that it is a total breach of CAMA law under which NNPCL was incorporated.
Apart from asking the court to issue an order to return him to office, Ararume also demanded N100 billion as compensation for the damages he suffered nationally and internationally in the unlawful way and manner his removal was carried out by President Buhari.
Reacting to the development, Johnson Chukwu, Chief Executive Officer at Cowry Asset Management Limited, said thought the Federal High Court is a Court of first instance, the Government is at liberty to appeal the case.
Chukwu, told Oriental News Nigeria, that he did not see the judgement as disrupting investment portfolio or structure already provided and operated by the Company as a CAMA company with sound corporate governance.