Nigeria’s leading oil and gas Company; Seplat Energy said it was already aware of moves to promote certain media publications to the effect that the Federal High Court, presided by Hon. Justice I. E. Ekwo, sitting in Abuja in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/626/2023 – Juliet
Gbaka & 2 others v. Seplat Energy Plc & 13 others has granted ex parte Interim Orders against Seplat Energy and some of its Officers.
In a statement on Thursday, Mrs. Chioma Afe of Seplat Communications & External Affairs, said “the Interim Orders, which are yet to be served on the Company or any of the affected Officers, primarily restrain the Board Chairman, the named Independent Non-Executive Directors, the Chief Operating Officer and the Company Secretary from operating or functioning as officers of Seplat Energy in any capacity, or otherwise conducting the affairs of the Company.
“The Company, as a law-abiding entity, has defended against the Interim Orders by immediately filing an Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution of the Orders. Seplat Energy has been advised by its legal team that the Interim Orders, which are yet to be served on the Company or its officers, cannot be enforced until the Court of Appeal has heard and determined the Appeal and application for Stay of Execution.
“This petition is a third in the series of duplicative petitions filed by purported minority shareholders between March and April 2023, as part of orchestrated attempts to damage the Company in response to its unrelenting efforts to improve corporate governance by eliminating related party transactions and implementing other corporate governance initiatives.”
The Company previously announced that:
• The Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Hon. Justice Aneke, in Moses Igbrude & 4 ors V. Seplat Energy & 2 ors, has vacated the ex parte Interim Orders that required the Company’s CEO to step aside.
* The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Ekwo, in Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Seplat Energy & 8 ors, formally dismissed the Immigration Charge against the Company and some of its Officers, and fully discharged all named Officers. This discharge followed the Notice of Withdrawal/Discharge filed by the Director Legal of the Nigeria Immigration Service and the company’s cooperation with the immigration authorities.
• The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Ekwo, in Boniface Okezie & 4 ors. V. Seplat Energy & 9 ors, refused to grant to the Petitioners’ request to grant ex parte Interim Orders restraining the Company from holding its AGM.
Seplat Energy remains relentless in its commitment to governance and operational excellence.
It is interesting to note that Hon. Justice I. E. Ekwo has presided over three out of the four cases involving Seplat and some minority shareholders.
The company is poised to diligently continue to defend against these deliberate court actions, and remains confident and hopeful that the courts will appropriately address these unending litigations on the same.