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Reconstitution of NNPC LTD Board unconstitutional– HURIWA

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has faulted president Bola Tinubu’s recent reconstitution of the management board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, saying it breached a binding Judgment of a competent court of law.

Addressing a press conference, National Coordinator of HURIWA who spoke on behalf of HURIWA and a coalition of ten Non-governmental bodies, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko asserted that it was illegal for the president to have made the announcement when he is aware that the Federal government had appealed a Federal High Court’s Judgment which invalidated the removal of Senator Ifeanyi, Ararume as Chairman of NNPC Ltd on inception.

“The rule of law is the cornerstone of any democratic society, and its principles must be upheld at all times. The recent appointments announced by President Tinubu raise serious concerns about the commitment of the federal government to abide by the rule of law, especially when there is ongoing litigation related to the NNPC board.

“Firstly, we acknowledge the president’s authority to make appointments under Section 59(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. However, the timing of these appointments, amidst a legal dispute over the removal of Senator Ararume, is not only questionable but also constitutes a clear affront to the rule of law.

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In the case of Ifeanyi Ararume vs. President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal High Court in Abuja declared Ararume’s removal as the non-executive chairman of NNPC as wrongful and ordered his reinstatement.

The court also awarded damages of N5 billion in favor of Senator Ararume. This decision is binding until set aside by a competent court.

HURIWA calls for a reversal of the recent appointments in the NNPC pending the determination of the appeal in Senator Ararume’s case.

“We urge President Tinubu and the federal government to respect the rule of law, adhere to the principles of sub judice, and uphold the sanctity of judicial decisions. The legal process must be allowed to run its course without interference, and any attempt to circumvent the rule of law should be vehemently condemned.

“As we emphasize the importance of upholding the rule of law, we must also recognize the broader implications of these actions for the democratic fabric of our nation. The judiciary, as the guardian of justice, plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the rights of individuals are protected, and its decisions are crucial in maintaining the delicate balance of power among the three arms of government.

 

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