As non-Executive Chairman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Senator Ifeanyi Ararume has been reinstated by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
On the grounds that the President’s action was arbitrary, unlawful, and illegal, the court declared the businessman’s dismissal as unlawful and overturned his removal from office on January 17, 2023.
Justice Ekwo also awarded N5 billion in damages against Buhari and NNPCL in a ruling in a lawsuit brought by Ararume, to be paid to Ararume as compensation for the improper termination of his employment and disruption of his appointment.
Justice Ekwo ruled that Ararume should be reinstated right away in his position as non-Executive Chairman of the NNPCL.
The Judge further ruled that all actions taken by the NNPCL Board of Directors while Ararume was not present were null and void.
According to Justice Ekwo, Buhari violated the law when he fired Ararume for using his name to register NNPCL, and such a blatant act cannot be allowed to stand in the face of the law.
Ararume had brought Buhari before the court, pleading with it to declare his dismissal as the chairman of the NNPC illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional, as well as that it was a complete violation of the CAMA law, under which NNPCL was incorporated.
In addition to requesting that the court issue an order restoring him to his position, Ararume also asked for N100 billion in damages to make up for the harm that President Buhari’s illegal removal of him from office caused him both domestically and abroad.
According to reports, after Senator Ararume was fired, President Buhari named Senator Margery Okadigbo to lead the NNPCL.