Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Appeal court suspends order barring Roger Brown, Basil Omiyi as CEO, board chair of Seplat

Appeal court suspends order barring Roger Brown, Basil Omiyi as CEO, board chair of Seplat
May 15
21:44 2023

The court of appeal in Abuja has granted an ex-parte application filed by Seplat Energy seeking to lift the suspension of nine of its officials.

The officials are Roger Brown, chief executive officer (CEO), Seplat Energy; Basil Omiyi, board chairman; Emma Fitzgerald, Charles Okeahalam, Fabian Ajogwu, Rabiu Bello, Bashirat Odenewu, independent non-executive directors; Edith Onwuchekwa, company secretary; and Samuel Ezeugwuorie, chief operating officer.

Last Thursday at a federal high court in Abuja, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, had in an ex-parte order, suspended the officials, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The motion was filed by three aggrieved stakeholders — Juliet Gbaka, Margaret Funmilayo, and Clement Akaeme — in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/626/23.


The court also ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to appoint suitable persons to run the affairs of the company.

Displeased at the ruling, Seplat Energy, in its appeal by a team of lawyers led by D.D Dodo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN); Bode Olanipekun, SAN; and Audu Anuga, SAN; urged the appellate court to suspend the interim ex parte orders.

The appellant, in its further affidavit in support of the motion to stay execution of the orders deposed to by Adoga Moses, a litigation clerk; said out of 588,444,561 issued shares of the applicant, the plaintiffs at the lower court have a cumulative shares of 131 units.


“The action of the plaintiffs and the orders granted by the lower court have the implication of diminishing the share value of the applicant who has dual listings on the Nigerian and London Stock exchanges, as well as cause panic in the capital market and reduce investor confidence,” the deponent said.

“Even before the orders of the lower court were served, same had been given wide publicity across various news outlets.

“Now shown to me, attached hereto and marked as exhibits 10, 11, and 12 are copies of news reports with global reach relating to the orders of ex parte injunction granted by the lower court.

‘’The applicant is at risk of irreparable damage to its brand, business, investor equity, contractual and statutory obligations if the orders sought are not granted.”


Ruling on the application, Muhammad Mustapha, the presiding judge, suspended the enforcement of the ex parte orders granted by the lower court.

The court subsequently adjourned pending applications to May 30, 2023 for hearing.

Reacting to the ruling, Seplat Energy, in a statement signed by Omiyi, said it was served the court order on May 12.

The energy firm said it remains confident that the courts will appropriately address “the frivolous litigations brought by a combination of 13 minority shareholders holding less than 800 shares out of 589 million shares (or 0.0001 percent of the company’s issued shares)”.


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