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Buhari Acknowledges Court Ruling Restoring Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as NNPCL Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari has released a statement acknowledging the recent judgment by the Federal High Court in Abuja which restored Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the non-executive Chairman of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The statement, issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, indicated that Buhari had not yet received a formal copy of the ruling. However, the President assured the public that due judicial process will be followed and that the NNPCL has already taken steps to go on appeal.

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In the statement, Buhari also called for calm from all parties involved in the matter. He affirmed that his administration respects the rule of law and that nothing would be done outside of it to resolve the dispute.

The ruling, which was delivered on Tuesday, overturned the earlier sacking of Ararume as the non-executive Chairman of NNPCL.

The development has sparked mixed reactions from Nigerians, with some expressing support for the court’s decision while others have criticized the verdict. Many are also concerned about the potential impact of the ruling on the operations of the NNPCL and the country’s oil and gas sector as a whole.

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Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, a former senator and gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State, was appointed as the non-executive Chairman of NNPCL in 2020. However, his appointment was later revoked by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who cited irregularities in the appointment process.

Ararume subsequently challenged his removal in court, arguing that due process was not followed in his removal. The Federal High Court agreed with him and restored him to his position as Chairman of NNPCL.

The NNPCL is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and is responsible for overseeing the government’s interests in various joint venture agreements in the country’s oil and gas sector. The company’s operations have been the subject of much scrutiny and criticism over the years, with many calling for greater transparency and accountability in the management of Nigeria’s oil wealth.

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The reinstatement of Ararume as the Chairman of NNPCL is likely to have significant implications for the company’s operations and for the wider oil and gas sector in Nigeria. It remains to be seen how the government and other stakeholders will respond to the court’s ruling and what steps will be taken to address any potential challenges that may arise as a result.

In the meantime, many Nigerians are watching the situation closely and are calling for all parties to approach the matter with caution and to work together to find a mutually acceptable solution that will ensure the continued growth and development of the country’s oil and gas industry.

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