Arewa Group Backs Araraume, Says Buhari Must Obey Court Order Reinstating Him as NNPC Chair
By: Our Correspondent
The Amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider giving effect to the judgment of the Federal High Court that reinstated Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume as non-executive chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
The Director of Media and Publicity, Amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups, Comrade Aminu Abbas, made this assertion during a press conference held in Kaduna on April 24th, 2023.
The group was reacting to a statement credited to the Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups, in which they faulted the Federal High Court judgment that restored Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the non-executive chairman of the NNPCL. The group stated that obeying the judgment of the court was a better and more preferred option in the circumstance, and that appealing the judgment should be treated as a distant alternative option.
According to the group, the judiciary is an independent arm of government that operates on the principles of fairness, justice, and the rule of law. The judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo was based on the facts presented before the court and the relevant laws that govern the matter.
The group stressed that it is not appropriate for the Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups or any other group or person to accuse the court of usurping the duties of the Office of the President or to suggest that the judgment was an affront to the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari. Such statements are not only unfounded, but also inappropriate.
They maintained that appealing the judgment would only prolong the matter and keep it on the front burner, thus restraining international oil companies (IOCs) from investing their total commitment in the country’s oil sector, which has virtually been rendered tentative and unstable by the court action.
“After all, Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume was a director on the board of NNPCL before he was simultaneously appointed as the non-executive chairman, thus enjoying the privilege of having his name in the company’s records with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“Araraume remains a part of the NNPCL family in the face of the law. All issues settled in his favour in the judgment can be quietly revisited and resolved in ways that there will be no losers at the end of the day.
“This is the best way to go about quick restoration of the Board of the NNPCL to normalcy. The government cannot pretend not to know that all is not well with the NNPCL, especially now with the specific order nullifying all the decisions and resolutions taken by the Board in the absence of Senator Araraume from January 17, 2022, when he was removed as non-executive chairman of the Board.
“We understand that Araraume is a committed member of the ruling All Progressives Congress. We also understand that he was an appointee of President Muhammadu Buhari as a federal commissioner at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), where he represented the Southeast zone from 2016-2018, a position he held after passing rigorous security checks by the Police and the Department of State Services.
“He underwent security checks by the Department of State Security Service and the Nigerian Police Force, which cleared him for the appointment.
“People who have served our country deserve all the support they need. Our youth should shield themselves from being used as pawns in the power tussle that lacks legitimacy.
We, therefore, wish to call on President Buhari to clear all hurdles so that Senator Araraume can resume office and summon board meetings to possibly ratify resolutions that were taken while he was in court seeking redress.
“We wish to equally call on those in the NNPCL Board sponsoring different groups to discount the orders and judgment of the court and desist from doing so, as we won’t fold our arms and watch the Judiciary being intimidated from doing its work,” he said.
“We wish to also call on those who are aggrieved by the ruling of the Federal High Court to take advantage of the Appeal and Supreme Courts to ventilate their disagreement with the judgment and stop this unnecessary coordinated campaign in the media to disparage the judgment of the court.
“This resort to court bashing is embarrassing our country in the comity of nations. The act should be discontinued forthwith,” he added.