BY Bunmi Aduloju
A federal high court in Lagos has vacated the interim ex-parte order stopping Roger Brown from identifying himself as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc.
Chukwuejekwu Aneke, the presiding judge, set aside the order while ruling on the applications filed by Seplat Energy, Roger Brown, Basil Omiyi, Seplat’s board chairman, and persons affected by the ex-parte order in the case.
“I find as a fact that the petitioners’ grouse can adequately be accommodated under the provisions of section 354 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which falls within the jurisdiction of this court,” he said.
“I find and hold that the petitioners have locus standi to bring the petition before the court. Furthermore, this court has jurisdiction to adjudicate on the suit as it falls within the provision of section 251 of the constitution. However, by virtue of order 26 rules 9 and 10 of the federal high court Civil Procedure Rules 2019, the interim orders of the court made on 8th March 2023 are hereby discharged and vacated.”
The case was adjourned to May 16, 2023, for accelerated hearing.
Last month, TheCable reported that a Lagos federal high court restrained Brown from carrying out his official duties pending the determination of a suit instituted against him.
The suit was instituted against Brown and other respondents by aggrieved stakeholders of the company over allegations of racism, favouring of expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.
Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe were the defendants in suit no. FHC/L/402/2023 against the respondents, which are Seplat Energy, Brown, and Omiyi.
Obeying the court order, Brown stepped down, delegating his official responsibilities to Samson Ezugworie, chief operating officer of the company.
SEPLAT ENERGY: PETITION LACKS PROPER BASIS
Reacting to the latest court ruling, Seplat Energy, in a statement on Thursday, said the petition was filed by five persons “who claim to be minority shareholders of the company, collectively holding 161 units of shares”.
The company maintained that the petition (from the onset) “lacks proper basis and is premised on false allegations”.
“Seplat Energy remains confident that the judicial process will address the circumstances appropriately. The company continues to engage with the ministry of interior,” the energy firm said.