Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Alleged racism: Court strikes out suit against Roger Brown, Seplat CEO

Alleged racism: Court strikes out suit against Roger Brown, Seplat CEO
May 17
14:28 2023

A federal high court in Lagos has struck out a suit seeking the removal of Roger Brown, chief executive officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc, over allegations of racism, favouritism towards expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.

The suit was filed on March 8, 2023, before Chukwuejekwu Aneke, the presiding judge, by Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe.

The respondents in suit number FHC/L/402/2023 are Seplat Energy, Brown, and Basil Omiyi, the board chairman of the oil firm.

The petitioners sought “an order of mandatory injunction restraining the 2nd respondent (Brown) from parading himself as, or continuing to operate as the CEO of the 1st respondent (Seplat) or working for Seplat in any other capacity”.


Following the petition, the court restrained Brown from carrying out his official duties pending the determination of a suit.

Brown subsequently stepped down from his position until the court vacated the interim ex-parte order, and adjourned the case till May 16, 2023, for accelerated hearing.

On Tuesday when proceedings resumed, Aneke struck out the suit after Ayodele Arotiowa, the petitioners’ lawyer, informed the court of his clients’ intention to withdraw the suit. 


But Uzoma Azikiwe, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Seplat’s counsel, told the court that his client had filed an appeal, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and urged the court to suspend all proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal.

On his part, Kayode Adesina, Brown’s counsel, asked the court to award the sum of N10 million as cost against the petitioners.

In his ruling, Aneke struck out the suit and ordered the petitioners to pay N1 million to Brown. 

Speaking on the ruling in a statement, Seplat Energy reiterated its confidence in the “Nigerian judiciary as it continues its systematic resolution of these orchestrated and frivolous litigations, which are aimed at disrupting the smooth operations of the company”. 


The company said the petition introduced the “onslaught of false and orchestrated allegations against the company, its CEO and its directors/officers, which formed the basis of the actions taken by the ministry of interior and the criminal charge brought against Seplat Energy and its officers, which was promptly withdrawn by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), while the company and its officers were entirely discharged by the federal high court (Abuja) in April 2023”.

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