The Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown, has been restrained from carrying out his official duties pending the determination of a suit.
The restraint was issued by Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday.
NIGERIACRIME learnt that some aggrieved stakeholders of the company instituted a suit against Brown and other respondents over allegations of racism, favouring of expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.
The defendants are, Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe while the respondents are, Seplat Energy, Brown, and Basil Omiyi, chairman, board of directors, Seplat.
The court restrained Brown as well as his proxies, privies, and agents from continuing to participate in the “day-to-day running and management of Seplat Energy or in any manner whatsoever pending the determination of [the] hearing and determination of the petitioners’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
It also restrained Omiyi, as well as all independent non-executive directors under him from “continuing to run the affairs of Seplat in an illegal, unfair, prejudicial, and oppressive manner pending the hearing and determination of the petitioner’s motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
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The court subsequently adjourned the suit to March 23, 2023, for hearing on the pending application.
In its reaction on Thursday, Seplat Energy said the claims against Brown by the Ministry of Interior is false.
Omiyi said the allegations have not been brought to the attention of the CEO or Seplat Energy for a reaction.
He said, “The orchestrated media reports are clearly calculated to spread false information. Seplat Energy will be engaging with the ministry to reject the impressions created by these.
“The board believes that these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the enforcement of corporate governance standards in the company by the board of Seplat Energy.”
Omiyi added that Brown will continue to operate as CEO from the Seplat office in the United Kingdom.
“Over the past decade, Mr. Brown has earned an unblemished record of service and leadership in the company.
“On 8th March 2023, the board of Seplat Energy unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown, who continues to discharge his duties and responsibilities as CEO from the SEPLAT UK office,” he said.
Brown, a British national, joined Seplat in 2013 as the chief financial officer (CFO) and was selected as the company’s CEO in November 2019, but effectively assumed office in 2020.