Seplat Energy says it filed an appeal to challenge a court ruling by a federal high court in Abuja, ordering the suspension of nine of its officials, pending the determination of a motion on notice.
The suspended officials are Roger Brown, chief executive officer (CEO), Seplat Energy; Basil Omiyi, board chairman; Emma Fitzgerald, Charles Okeahalam, Fabian Ajogwu, Rabiu Bello, Bashirat Odenewu, independent non-executive directors; Edith Onwuchekwa, company secretary; and Samuel Ezeugwuorie, chief operating officer.
Some aggrieved stakeholders, Juliet Gbaka, Margaret Funmilayo, and Clement Akaeme, filed the motion, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/626/23.
“An order is, hereby, made suspending the 2nd to 10th defendants as directing minds and secretary of the 1st defendant (Seplat), pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicants,” Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, had ruled on Thursday.
Reacting to the court ruling in a statement, Seplat Energy said it has not been served the interim orders.
However, the oil firm said it has “defended against the interim orders” by filing an appeal and a motion for stay of execution of the orders.
“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 statement reads.
“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.”
The company said it will continue to diligently defend against the “deliberate court actions”, adding that it remains confident and hopeful that the courts will appropriately address the “unending litigations on the same subject matter in short order”.
Seplat further reiterated that the affected officers “are yet to be served with any order of the court apart from the media report”.
The indigenous oil company has been the target of lawsuits filed largely by disgruntled stakeholders.
In two recent lawsuits, petitioners had asked a federal high court in Abuja to restrain the company from holding its annual general meeting (AGM).
Omiyi in response to a ruling, assured that the company would hold the meeting, citing a final and binding judgment of a federal high court in Abuja.
However, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) said it will not give cognisance to any resolution made at the AGM.
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