Seplat Approaches Court To Stop Order Suspending Board Chairman, CEO, 7 Others
Seplat Energy has rushed to court to stop an ex-parte Order suspending its Chief Executive Officer, Roger Brown, Board Chairman, Basil Omiyi, and other directors from the company.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday granted ex parte Interim Orders restraining nine of the company’s key officers from acting in their respective capacities until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by its shareholders.
The case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/626/2023 is between Juliet Gbaka & 2 others v. Seplat Energy Plc & 13 others.
Justice Inyang Ekwo in a ruling said, “An order is hereby made suspending the 2nd to 10th defendants as directing minds and secretary of the 1st defendant (Seplat), pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicants,” the judge said.
The affected persons are: Roger Thompson Brown; Basil Omiyi (Chairman of the Board of Directors); Emma Fitzgerald, Dr Charles Okeahialam, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, Rabiu Bello, Mrs Bashirat Odenewu (independent non-executive directors).
Others are Mrs Edith Onwuchekwa (Company Secretary) and Samuel Ezeugwuorie (Chief Operating Officer)
The Interim Orders are yet to be served on the Company or any of the affected Officers.
But in response, Seplat said it has “defended against the Interim Orders by immediately filing an Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution of the Orders.
“Seplat Energy has been advised by its legal team that the Interim Orders, which are yet to be served on the Company or its officers, cannot be enforced until the Court of Appeal has heard and determined the Appeal and application for a Stay of Execution.
“This petition is a third in the series of duplicative petitions filed by purported minority shareholders between March and April 2023, as part of orchestrated attempts to damage the Company in response to its unrelenting efforts to improve corporate governance by eliminating related party transactions and implementing other corporate governance initiatives.”
Seplat said it will continue to diligently defend against the deliberate court actions and remains confident and hopeful that the courts will appropriately address the unending litigations on the same subject.