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Court stops ongoing NNPC recruitment

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The Abuja Federal High Court has ordered the suspension of the ongoing recruitment of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pending the determination of a lawsuit brought by Mr. Pelumi Olajengbesi.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that Olajengbesi, a lawyer of public interest, had begun to assert the fundamental rights of all potential applicants to cancel the recruitment by the NNPC as discriminatory.

The recruitment had disqualified the Nigerians for 28 years of candidacy for vacancies.

Olajengbesi had violated the age criteria established for the ongoing recruitment of the NNPC, noting that it violated section 3 (e) (iv) of fundamental rights (enforcement procedure), 2009, which protected the public interest of Nigerians.

On March 26, Dr. Maikanti Baru, executive director of the NNPC group, had written to him, threatening to drag the organization to court to impose discriminatory age requirements on qualified Nigerians who would require the work announced by the company.

The NNPC had invited candidates for various positions, including apprentices who were not older than 28 on December 31st 2018 and had graduated from a university or polytechnic not before 2014.

At the hearing on October 18, 2019, the applicant prayed in court to guarantee justice to the Nigerian unemployed who needed to know their position on the matter.

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“The matter has long been before the court and the rest of the matter is at a stake and under Order 8 Rule 4 of the Article II of the African Charter of Human and People’s Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

“I pray that the matter be heard together with the preliminary objection filed by the respondents in the interest of justice,” the applicant said.

When the matter was called up, the applicant’s counsel informed the court that the respondent filed his counter on Oct. 15, 2019.

In reply, the respondent informed the court that he was sick and had a surgery.

The presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Tsoho (Acting Chief Justice of The Federal High Court) informed the respondents counsel that his counter was not proper before the court and had not been regularised.

The court in considering the urgent nature of the matter granted an adjournment for the respondents to regularise their counter.

Tsoho, however, ordered that parties must maintain status quo pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

He adjourned the matter until Oct. 29, 2019 for hearing.