Seplat responds to court order, says it’s duplication of processes

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The board of Seplat Energy has responded to a fresh court order against its top executives, saying the company is yet to receive the Interim Order.

It however stated that the petitioners were attempting to prevent the company from eliminating related party transactions.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Interim Orders were sought to restrict the company’s chairman, Chief Operating Officer and other top executives from discharging their duties.

In a statement on Thursday, Seplat said it was aware of the purported ex parte Interim Orders through the media. The order was obtained from the Federal High Court, in Abuja, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/626/2023.

The suit was filed by Juliet Gbaka and two others, against Seplat Energy Plc and 13 others. The company said it was a duplication of previous petitions against executives in the company, which various courts in Lagos and Abuja did not grant.

“It is imperative to state again that the company and the affected officers are yet to be served with any order of the court apart from the media report,” Seplat noted.

While Seplat said it hasn’t been served the Interim Orders, the company said an appeal had been filed for a Stay of Execution. The statement further disclosed that the Interim Orders cannot be enforced until the Court of Appeal has heard and determined the Appeal and application for a Stay of Execution.

READ ALSO:Seplat’s Roger Brown in immigration mess, as FG goes after chairman, directors over job offer

“Seplat Energy is aware of certain media publications that the Federal High Court, per 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 granted ex parte Interim Orders against Seplat Energy and some of its Officers.

“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,” Seplat stated.

It added that the petitions against Seplat and its executives are orchestrated attempts to prevent the company from improving corporate governance by eliminating related party transactions.

Seplat disclosed: “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.”

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