Seplat CEO gets court’s nod to resume work, but remains banned from Nigeria
The Federal High Court in Lagos has set aside the ex parte interim order made against Seplat Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Roger Brown.
Ripples Nigeria had reported four weeks ago that the court restricted Brown from managing the affairs of Seplat as CEO, relieving him of his duties for weeks.
Brown was ordered to vacate his CEO position after five stakeholders of Seplat accused him of racism and maltreating Nigerian employees of the company.
Although Brown and Seplat denied the allegations, he was temporarily replaced with the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Samson Ezugworie.
In a corporate statement released to shareholders and investors in the capital market on Thursday, Seplat said the ex parte interim order against Brown had been vacated by the court.
“Seplat Energy announces that today, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, vacated the ex parte Interim Orders against Seplat, its CEO and its Board Chairman, including the orders that restrained the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown from participating in the running of the Company.
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“The case has been adjourned to May 16, 2023, to continue the hearing. The ex parte Interim Orders were in relation to a court petition filed by 5 persons who claim to be minority shareholders of the Company, collectively holding 161 units of shares.
“The Company maintains that the petition lacks proper basis and is premised on false allegations. Seplat Energy remains confident that the judicial process will address the circumstances appropriately,” Seplat said in the statement.
However, while this ushers Brown’s return to duty as Seplat’s CEO, he is still restricted from working within Nigeria, so the oil boss is expected to operate from Seplat’s office in the United Kingdom (UK).
This is because Seplat hasn’t resolved the faceoff with the Ministry of Interior which seized Brown’s working permit following the allegations against the CEO.
Seplat said the firm was still in talks with the government’s ministry, “The Company continues to engage with the Ministry of Interior,” part of the corporate disclosure reads.