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Court Forces Seplat Energy CEO to Step Aside

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CEM REPORT, CORP. GORVERNANCE | In obedience to an ex-parte Interim Order the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown, had stepped aside from running the company’s activities.

Brown won’t be able to come back to such a seat until after seven days.

The action of the former CEO of the oil company was contained in a corporate disclosure made available to Nigerian Exchange Ltd.,(NGX) and signed by its board Chairman, Basil Omiyi, on Friday.


The company disclosed that the decision followed an ex-parte Interim Order handed down by the Hon Justice C. J. Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Nigeria, which restrained Brown for the period of time mentioned above.

“Seplat Energy Plc reports that on March 9, 2023, it was served with court processes and ex-parte Interim Order of the Hon Justice C. J. Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Nigeria, restraining the Chief Executive Officer from participating in the running of the company for a period of seven days.”

The company noted in the disclosure that the Chairman, Basil Omiyi, and all the INEDs of Seplat Energy will continue running the affairs of the company on the basis that it is in accordance with Nigerian law and the order order.

“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.”

The company added that the announcement was made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange, 2015 (Issuer’s Rule).

It also added that the announcement was authorised for publication by Basil Omiyi, Independent Chairman and Charles Okeahalam, Senior Independent Director, on behalf of the entire Board of Seplat Energy

How it Started

An injunction was filed by Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe, who purport to have shares in Seplat Energy Plc.

New Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Chairman, CEO and all of the Independent Non-Executive Directors (INEDs) of Seplat Energy had been alleged of unfair, prejudicial, and offensive acts.

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.

In its defense, Seplat Energy refuted the allegations and stating that since Brown became CEO in 2020, Nigerian nationals have been appointed to the company’s most important positions, including Chairman, Senior Independent Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating officer.

The Board of Seplat Energy on its part has said that the 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.

The Board also adds that it unanimously weight in confidence behind Brown as the CEO.

They also maintain that Seplat will follow the due processes of law in responding to the allegations before the courts.

“At the same time, the company will maintain its operational excellence and act in line with the best corporate governance standards,” it added.

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