The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown, has been barred by a federal high court in Lagos from performing his leadership responsibilities.
Presiding judge, Chukwuejekwu Aneke, ruled on Wednesday that Brown should be suspended from carrying out his duties, and restrained proxies, privies, and agents from acting on his behalf.
Aneke made the ruling after a motion ex parte was filed on Wednesday by applicants and petitioners; Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe.
The stakeholders filed suit no. FHC/L/402/2023 against Seplat Energy, Brown, and the company’s chairman, Basil Omiyi, as well as the board of directors of Seplat.
It was learnt that the applicants accused Brown of racism. They also said the Seplat CEO favoured expatriate workers but discriminates against Nigerians.
READ ALSO:Seplat’s chairman defends Roger Brown, CEO to operate from UK office
Ruling on the petition, Judge Aneke said Brown was restrained from “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”.
Also, Omiyi, alongside all independent non-executive directors of Seplat, was ordered not 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.”
The court ruling comes a day before Seplat announced that Brown will carry out his duties as CEO from the company’s office in the United Kingdom.
Seplat made the announcement in a statement to shareholders after the Federal Government revoked Brown’s visa over the allegations made against him in court, as well as for flouting the expatriate quota, Ripples Nigeria reported on Thursday.
However, Seplat didn’t inform shareholders of the suit against Brown and the chairman of the oil company, but only refuting the allegations which were made known to the firm in a letter from the Ministry of Interior.