Former Senator, Ifeanyi Araraume has criticized President Bola Tinubu’s recent appointments to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
Last week, Tinubu confirmed Mele Kyari as the NNPC CEO and appointed Pius Akinyelure as the non-executive board chair.
Araraume, who was appointed as NNPC’s board chairman by former President Buhari in September 2021, was replaced by Margaret Okadigbo in January 2022.
He successfully challenged his removal in court and was awarded N5 billion in damages.
Through his attorney, Ogwu Onoja, Araraume issued a public notice on Saturday declaring that President Tinubu’s appointments are illegal and in violation of a standing court order.
He said, “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,” the former senator said.
“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 whom, 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 the rule of law and a direct affront to 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.”
Araraume asked Tinubu to reverse his decision and allow the flow of the rule of law.