• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Seplat’s AGM suffers setback as Court orders company not to tamper with Res

Seplat appoints Udo Udoma, Okeke, Omotowa as independent non-executive directors

The planned Annual General Meeting (AGM) by Nigeria’s energy giant, Seplat Energy PLC, scheduled for 10th May seems to have suffered a setback as the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered parties to suit number FHC/ABJ/PET/8/2023 not to tamper with the res until issues in the suit are resolved.

The ruling was made by Justice Inyang Ekwo in the suit brought by Boniface Okezie, Bright Nwabuogwu, John Isesele, Okonkwo Timothy, and Augustine Ezechukwu, petitioners/Applicants, against Seplat Energy PLC; company CEO, Roger Brown; Board Chairman, Basil Omiyi, as well as Independent Non-Executive Directors of the company, Charles Okeahialam, Fabian Ajogwu, Rabiu Bello, Bashirat Odenewu, Emma Fitzgerald, Edit Onwuchekwa (Company Secretary/Legal Adviser), and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The implication is that the AGM could not go until the next adjourned date, which is 31st May 2023.

The ruling was handed at the hearing of a Motion on Notice for interlocutory order restraining the directors (INEDs), being the Respondents in the suit, from holding the AGM.

However, the court, upon learning that some of the Respondents were yet to be served, directed that they be served before the matter could be taken.

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Counsel to the Petitioners, Onuoha, told the court that the matter brought by his client was time and sought an order restraining Seplat and other Respondents from overreaching the substance of the matter.

“In the circumstance, we apply for an adjournment, but we urge the Court to warn the Respondents because our application is time bound. The 2nd to 9TH Respondents are in the process of convening an AGM. We urge the Court to warn them not to do anything to overreach them”, he stated.

After listening to Kalu Onuoha, Esq., counsel for the Petitioners; Wole Olanipekun, SAN, counsel for Seplat; Matthew Burka, SAN, counsel for Roger Brown (who held brief of Hassan Liman, SAN), counsel for Rabiu Bello and Emma Fitzgerald, Uzoma Azikiwe, SAN, counsel for Basil Omiyi, O.A. Omonuwa, SAN, counsel for Charles Okeahialam and Fabian Ajogwu, and Taiwo Osipita, SAN, representing Bashirat Odenewu and Edit Onwuchekwa, Justice Ekwo ruled that parties are hereby ordered not to tamper with the res until issues are resolved.

The case was adjourned to 31st May, 2023 for respondents to show cause.

Emphasizing the order not to tamper with the res, Justice Ekwo stated: “Olanipekun (Counsel for Seplat), when the parties have submitted to Court, it is something you teach always that parties should hold themselves, restrain themselves from doing anything that will affect the rest until the issues are resolved.”