Tuesday, June 6, 2023


CSO asks Basil Omiyi, Seplat’s chairman to resign for ‘exceeding tenure’

CSO asks Basil Omiyi, Seplat’s chairman to resign for ‘exceeding tenure’
March 26
20:53 2023

Make a Difference Initiative (MADI), a civil society and good governance advocacy group, says the refusal by Basil Omiyi to step down as the board chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, is the root cause of the crises rocking the company.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Lemmy Ughegbe, executive director, the organisation also asked the federal government to investigate claims made by aggrieved Nigerian employees that Roger Brown, the former chief executive officer, and some interests in the company were plotting to acquire Seplat through the capital market, using some South African fronts.

TheCable reported that Brown had stepped down from his position following an order from a federal high court in Lagos.

The court order followed a suit by aggrieved stakeholders of the company over allegations of “racism, favouring of expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance”.


Reacting to the matter, MADI said the crises rocking Seplat were due to the alleged refusal of Omiyi to honour the provisions of the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018  (NCCG 2018) on the tenure of directors. 

It said section 12 (10) of the code states that “the tenure for independent non-executive directors should not exceed three terms of three years each”. 

MADI also raised concerns about alleged efforts by Seplat leadership to coerce its Nigerian employees into passing a vote of confidence in Brown and Omiyi.


“Omiyi and another board member, Charles Okeahalam, have refused to resign despite overstaying their maximum of nine years allowed by the said code,” the group said. 

“Grapevine has it that in a letter dated 30th January 2023, institutional shareholders of Seplat pointed out that Omiyi and Okeahalam had exceeded their tenure and called for their resignation. 

“We also have it on good authority that while some major stakeholders kicked against Mr Omiyi’s choice as the company’s secretary, having done his maximum of nine years, it was later agreed that he serves for one year to enable the company to conclude the search for the replacement of Dr ABC Orjiako, who stepped down. 

“Today, he is in his tenth year and still wants to carry on even when Section 12.10 of the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance specifically prescribes that the tenure for independent non-executive directors (INEDs) should not exceed three terms of three years each. 


“We call on the Nigerian government to revisit the allegation by Nigerian workers that Mr Brown and Omiyi are bent on acquiring the Nigerian company through the capital market using some South African fronts.  And that is what all this sit-tight syndrome and condonement of the CEO’s excesses is all about.”

The organisation noted that Seplat is a strategic national asset that should under no circumstance be allowed to slip out of the hands of Nigeria into the hands of foreigners. 

“If the founders of Seplat had to vacate their positions when far minor issues arose around them, then MADI does not understand why employees of Seplat, Mr Brown and Mr Omiyi, should not bow out honourably or be sacked.” 



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