Home News Ararume sues FG for N100bn over alleged unlawful removal as NNPC Chair

Ararume sues FG for N100bn over alleged unlawful removal as NNPC Chair

by Business News Report

Senator Ifeanyi Ararume has filed a N100 billion lawsuit against the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja for his alleged illegal removal as non-executive chairman of the newly incorporated Nigeria  National Petroleum Company. Ararume is asking for N100 billion for the damages caused to him by the allegedly illegal and unconstitutional manner in which he was removed as head of the NNPC after using his name to incorporate the entity. When the matter was called on Wednesday, one of Ararume’s lawyers, Mr. Chris Uche, (SAN) told the court that all parties to the matter had received due process. Judge Inyang Ekwo, however, invoked the provisions of Order 9 Rule 14(2b) of the Federal High Court Rules which allows a judge to order a party whose presence in a matter is pertinent to join the matter. Judge Ekwo ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission to join as a party as the case concerned the interpretation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

The judge adjourned the matter until December 15 for citation and ordered that the amended summons of origin be served on the parties before the adjourned date. The Nigerian News Agency, reports that the lawsuit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/691/2022 was instituted on behalf of Ararume from Senior Advocates of Nigeria which includes Messrs. Chris Uche, Ahmed Raji, Mahmud Magaji, James Onoja, KC Nwufor, and Gordy Uche. Meanwhile, Mr. Alhassan Shuaibu, Principal State Counselor at the Ministry of Justice, announced the appearance of the Federal Government. The former senator formulated four points of determination. One of the issues was whether in view of the provisions of the NNPC Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, the Companies and Related Matters Act 2010 and the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the position of non-executive chairman would not is governed and regulated by the provisions of the law. Ararume also asked the court to determine whether under Section 63(3) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the president could lawfully remove him as non-executive chairman of the NNPC for any reason outside the provisions of the law.

In addition, he asked the court to determine whether the president could fire him without complying with the expressly stated provisions of the Articles of Incorporation of the Company, Section 63 (3) of the PI Act 2021 and Section 288 of the CAMA Act. 2020. Another issue to determine was whether his alleged deportation vide letter of January 17 without complying with the expressly established provisions of the law was not unlawful, illegal, null and void and without any legal consequence. The plaintiff requested the court, upon determination of the issues in his favour, to make a declaration that his position as non-executive chairman of the NNPC is exclusively governed by, and regulated by, the PI Act 2021 and the Company’s Memorandum of Association. “A statement that in accordance with Section 63(3) of the PI Act, the CAMA Act, and the NNPC Memorandum of Association, the chairman may not step down as non-executive chairman without due process of law.”

The former deputy asked the court for an order of dismissal through a letter dated January 17 with the reference number SGF.3V111/86. He also petitioned the court for an order reinstating him and restoring him to office with all the rights and privileges of the position of non-executive chairman of the NNPC. In addition, he applied to the court for an annulment and annulment order for all decisions and resolutions of the NNPC board made in his absence from January 17 to date. He also asked for an order preventing the defendants from withdrawing his name as director of the company. He asked for N100 billion as damages for the wrongful removal, termination and termination of his term as non-executive chairman of the NNPC. In a 75-paragraph affidavit in support of the lawsuit, Ararume stated that following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the former NNPC and its subsidiaries spun off to become the Nigeria National Petroleum Company registered with the Petroleum Commission. Corporate Affairs with the number 1843987.

“On October 20, 2021, the Chairman approved my appointment as Non-Executive Chairman for an initial five-year term, and thereafter my name was recorded in the Company’s Memorandum of Articles and the appointment was announced to the world. Based on the appointment, I attended the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in the Americas but surprisingly, on January 7, the president inaugurated the NNPC Board without recourse to me, while another person was appointed in my place. On January 17, I was informed of the withdrawal of my appointment, but without any reason that justifies the alleged removal.” Plaintiff asserted that he was not guilty of any of the preconditions for dismissal or declared medically unfit for work. He claimed that he had suffered loss of credibility and goodwill, untold emotional, mental and psychological trauma and public humiliation due to his alleged illegal expulsion. Therefore, he begged the court to award him compensation of 100 billion Naira and to order his return to office in accordance with the letter and conditions of his appointment. NAN

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