People & Money

Court Order Seplat to Hold AGM on 10th of May

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the management of Seplat Energy Plc to hold its AGM on the 10th of May 2023. In a corporate disclosure authorised by the Chairman of the Board of Seplat, Basil Omiyi, it was announced that the company was to hold the AGM in compliance with the ruling by 11.00 AM on the 10th of May 2023.

The letter read, “Seplat Energy announces that the Federal High Court, per A.R. Mohammed J, sitting in Abuja in Suit number FHC/ABJ/PET/7/2023 – Akinnifesi & Adelaja V. Seplat Energy Plc has delivered a final and binding Judgment, ordering the Company to hold its AGM on 10th May 2023 (“Judgment”).

Also Read: Seplat CEO Identifies Barriers to Investment in Gas

“The Judgment further restrains any current or former directors, shareholders and officers of the Company from cancelling or postponing the AGM as announced to the public.”

In the case filed by Akinduor Akinnifesi and Otugade Adelaja, Justice Mohammed noted in his judgment that the agreement made by the parties held legal weight and therefore, incorporated it as the official judgment.

He held, “Terms of Settlement filed in the Registry of the court on April 11, 2023, and duly executed by the parties and their legal representatives, are hereby adopted as consent judgment of the court between the parties in this suit as follows:

“The respondent shall hold its 2023 AGM on the advertised date of May 10, 2023.

“The respondent shall give not less than 21 days’ notice of its 2023 AGM to the petitioners and all those entitled to receive such notice.

“The board of directors of the respondents shall ensure compliance.

Also Read: Seplat Energy Plc Records $464 Million Gross Profit in FY 2022

“The respondents, including its present or former directors, shareholders, secretary or any other officer of the respondent howsoever called, whether acting jointly or individually, shall refrain from cancelling or postponing or taking any step towards cancelling or postponing the respondent’s 2023 AGM advertised and scheduled to hold on May 10, 2023.”

The court ruling is a recent plot in the series of dramatic events that have characterized Seplat Energy Plc since the start of 2023.

For example, in March 2023, the company ended its consulting contract with its former Chairman, Dr A.B.C Orjiako due to what it termed  ‘repeated breaches of corporate governance of a material nature.’ The company stated that Dr Orjiako had been making significant commitments on behalf of Seplat without obtaining prior approval from the Board. It also noted that terminating the agreement was necessary to safeguard the corporation and its directors from potential legal repercussions.

Dr Orjiako responded to the claims of ‘controversial commitment’ made against him. He acknowledged that it was due to a letter he had written to the Federal Government, seeking assistance in facilitating Seplat’s $1.3 billion acquisition of ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water assets. He refuted any allegations of misconduct and asserted that Seplat Energy was already experiencing favourable outcomes from the letter he had penned to the federal government, despite the company’s accusation of him acting independently.

Also in March 2023, the CEO of the company, Roger Brown had to step aside temporarily following a lawsuit filed against him by the Federal Government. Prior to the lawsuit, the Federal Government revoked Brown’s visa, resident permit, and work permit due to allegations of racism made by some stakeholders of the company. However, the company stood by Mr Brown as they denied the accusations made against him and the Board of Directors, asserting that their actions aligned with the highest standards of corporate governance.

Also Read: Malabu OPL 245: Influential Figures Deceived President Buhari Into Believing Nigeria Could Get Back $1.1billion – former Minister of Justice

However, in April, the Chairman of Seplat’s  Board announced that the immigration lawsuit against Roger Brown had been discontinued. Although this was after a Federal High Court in Lagos lifted the interim ex-parte order that barred Roger Brown from using the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc.

David Olujinmi

David Olujinmi studies Engineering but his true passion is research and analysis. He writes about finance, particularly the capital market, investment banking, and asset management. More »

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