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Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Alleged illegal appointment: Court hears suit against Baru, NNPC March 28

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NNPC Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Gachalla Baru

NNPC Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Gachalla Baru

By Vivian Okejeme Abuj

Hearing on a suit accusing President Muhammadu Buhari, of approving illegal appointments in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, comes up March 28.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/990/2017, before Justice Ahmed Mohamed of a federal high court, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the NNPC and its Board of Directors were mentioned as co-defendants.
The plaintiff, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, is praying the 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.
In the instant suit, the Plaintiff is praying among other things is asking the court to 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?
Also, “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?
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 igeria,
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.”

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