A Federal High Court in Lagos Nigeria has restrained the embattled Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Roger Brown, from participating in the running of the company for 7 days.
According to a corporate disclosure filed with the Nigerian Exchange and seen by Nairametrics, Seplat Energy was served with the court processes and ex-parte interim order on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
Reason for the court order: The statement signed by Board Chairman Mr Basil Omiyi, noted that the interim orders were premised on allegations of unfair, prejudicial, and offensive acts by the Chairman, CEO and all of the Independent Non-Executive Directors of Seplat Energy.
The allegations include that the CEO organised a site visit for a number of its major shareholders to the company’s operations, cancelled some catering and landscaping contracts, and introduced a new job performance rating.
Seplat refutes allegations: Seplat Energy has refuted the allegations, stating that since Mr Brown became CEO in 2020, Nigerian nationals have been appointed to the company’s most important positions, including Chairman, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating officer.
The Board believes these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the Board’s enforcement of corporate governance standards and a determination to continue to uphold their fiduciary duties and loyalty to the Company.
Vote of confidence: According to the statement, the Board of Seplat Energy has unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr Brown as the CEO.
The Order allows the Chairman, Mr Basil Omiyi, and all the INEDs of Seplat Energy to continue running the affairs of the Company on the basis that it is in accordance with Nigerian law.
Mr Brown has delegated authority to Mr Samson Ezugworie, Chief Operating Officer, to act as CEO during the period that he is required to step back from his executive duties.
Alleged shareholders: The injunction was filed by Messrs. Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe, who purported to have shares in Seplat Energy Plc.
The statement noted that Seplat will follow the due processes of law in responding to the allegations before the courts. At the same time, the company will continue to maintain its operational excellence and act in line with the best corporate governance standards.
It added that the announcement is made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange, 2015 (Issuer’s Rule).