Thursday , 23 November 2017

Buhari, Baru sued over alleged illegal appointments in NNPC

A constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging that he approved illegal appointments in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The Abuja based legal practitioner is praying the high court to declare that it was unconstitutional for President Buhari to unilaterally approve appointments or any form of re-organisation in the NNPC without input and consideration of its Board of Directors.

Aside President Buhari, other defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/990/2017 are the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the NNPC itself and its Board of Directors. Specifically, the plaintiff, is praying the court to among other things, determine “Whether in view of section 2 subsection (1) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as amended, read alongside Section 5(1) (a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, either of the 1st Defendant or the 4th Defendant (Baru and Buhari), is entitled in law to unilaterally make or approve appointments into any position within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 2nd Defendant herein] or any other form of reorganization in the 2nd Defendant, without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 3rd Defendant herein] ?

“Whether the purported appointment made by the 1st Defendant [on the 29th day of August, 2017] into various positions within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations and the purported approval of same by the 4th Defendant, without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, [the 3rd Defendant herein] is not unlawful and therefore liable to be set aside?

“Whether in view of Section 13 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights [Ratification and Enforcement] Act Cap 10, Laws of the Federation (LFN), 1990, the Plaintiff herein is clothed with the requisite locus standi to prosecute this claim? Against the background of the answers that may be given to the above questions of law the plaintiff claims the following reliefs from this Honourable Court”.

Upon determining of the questions, the plaintiff urged the court to declare that in view of section 2 subsection (1) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as amended, read alongside Section 5(1) (a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, neither the 1st Defendant nor the 4th Defendant is entitled in law to unilaterally make appointments into any position within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, or approve any form of reorganization in the 2nd Defendant without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 2nd Defendant herein].

“A declaration that it is patently unconstitutional for the 4th Defendant to unilaterally approve of any appointments in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or any other form of reorganization therein without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of Directors the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as envisaged by the law establishing the 2nd Defendant.

“A solemn declaration of this honourable court that it is unlawful and therefore invalid for the 1st Defendant to unilaterally make appointments into any position(s) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 2nd Defendant herein] without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as envisaged by the law establishing the 2nd Defendant.

“An order of this honourable court nullifying and setting aside the purported appointment unilaterally made by the 1st Defendant [on the 29th day of August, 2017 as shown by exhibit “NNPC1” into various positions in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 2nd Defendant herein] without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of the 2nd Defendant.

“An order nullifying and setting aside the purported approval of the 4th Defendant for the appointments unilaterally made by the 1st Defendant into various positions within the 2nd Defendant [on the 29th day of August, 2017 as shown by exhibit “NNPC1”, without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of the 2nd Defendant, the said approval being unconstitutional.

As well as, “An order of perpetual injunction restraining both the 1st Defendant and 4th Defendant from further making any other appointment(s) by whatever name called into any position or office in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 2nd Defendant herein] or effecting any other form of reorganization of the 2nd Defendant or approving of same without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as required by the law setting up the 2nd Defendant”.

Meantime, no date has been fixed for hearing of the matter.

  • By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Vanguard

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