Ceo forum 2023

Seplat: I acted in company’s best interest – Orjiako

The Pioneer Chairman and Co-founder of Seplat Energy PLC, ABC Orjiako, has denied any wrongdoing in the letter he initiated to the Federal Government to facilitate the consummation of the lingering $1.3billion Mobil sales deal, saying he acted within the scope of his mandate for the benefit of the company.

He made the clarification in Abuja on Friday in a statement by his legal adviser, Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, stressing that the company was already benefitting from the values created by the letter to the presidency.

Orjiako also said he had instructed his lawyers to take the necessary legal steps, including seeking appropriate damages from those behind what he described as a “mischief”.

Seplat Energy had in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/386/2023, which it filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, on March 21, 2023, accused Orjiako of acting unilaterally when he communicated with the Federal Government over a business transaction worth over $300 million, allegedly without the consent of the company’s Board of Directors. The company is equally demanding the sum of $5 billion as damages.

But in a reaction entitled ‘The so-called Law Suit against Dr. ABC Orjiako, the Pioneer Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc’ issued by his legal adviser, he said: “The attention of Dr. ABC Orjiako – the Pioneer Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc – has been drawn to the various malicious newspaper publications, the last being of the so-called Law Suit filed by some obviously disgruntled persons claiming to be acting in the interest of the company. He had hitherto refrained from joining them in the unfortunate affray. It has however, become necessary to let the public be aware of the mischief of these individuals who have masked their personal interest over that of the wellbeing of Seplat, a company that has earned a notable repute.

“Dr. ABC Orjiako, the Co-founder of SEPLAT under the written authorisation of the Board of Directors of SEPLAT, had the mandate to manage certain specific stakeholders of the company in respect of the transaction which necessitated the subject communication. Due to the misinformation and mischief intended by those publications it has also become necessary to set the record straight.

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“The letter referenced in the publications was written following appropriate discussions and was strictly for and in the best interest of SEPLAT. Also, the authorisation in the said letter expressly identifies Dr. Orjiako as the Pioneer Chairman.

“The public should therefore not lay any credence on the so-called Law Suit and the sensational publications the Suit was filed to achieve. As the Pioneer Chairman and Co-founder of Seplat, Dr. Orjiako laboured for over 13 years to ensure the accomplished success story Seplat has become.”
Orjiako therefore, said it was “despicable to associate him with anything that causes value erosion or brings the company’s image to disrepute as was nuanced in the publications.”

According to him, “If anything, the letter in question is already creating value for the company.”