The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has put a stop to the ongoing recruitment by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pending the determination of a suit filed Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olajengbesi, a public interest lawyer, had commenced the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of all potential applicants to set aside the recruitment by the NNPC on the ground that it was discriminatory.
The Corporation had stipulated in its advert for recruitment into a number of positions including trainees that applicants must not be more than 28 years as of Dec. 31, 2018 and had graduated from a university or polytechnic not earlier than 2014.
A decision faulted by the public interest lawyer who said that the age criterion violated section 3(e)(iv) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), 2009 which protected the public interest of Nigerians.
Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi had on March 26, written the then Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, threatening to drag the organisation to court for placing discriminatory age requirement on qualified Nigerians who would have applied for the jobs advertised by the corporation Daily Post reports.
At the hearing on Oct. 18, 2019, the applicant prayed the court to ensure that justice was served on the unemployed Nigerians who needed to know their stand in the matter.
“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.
The judge however, ordered that parties must maintain status quo pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
The matter was adjourned until Oct. 29, 2019 for hearing.