MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos and presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on Thursday set aside its earlier interim ex-parte orders restraining Seplat Energy Plc Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Roger Brown from participating in the management of the company.
The interim ex-parte orders were in relation to a court petition in Suit No. FHC/L/CP/402/23 filed by purported stakeholders of the company. Seplat has maintained that the petition is based on false allegations and remains confident that the judicial process will uncover the true facts.
The interim orders which were granted by the same court on 8th March, 2023 restraining Roger Brown from participating in the management of the company was subsequently challenged by the Company through its counsel. After listening to arguments of the parties, Justice Aneke on March 23, 2023 fixed ruling for March 30, 2023 on the matter.
In the light of the argument, the Court had directed that all the Respondents/Applicants including the parties affected by the interim orders of the Court should make their arguments on why the interim orders should be set aside.
However, ruling fixed for March 30, 2023 was rescheduled for Thursday April 6, 2023 due to what the learned Judge described as over load of administrative duties of his office which helped in slowing down the process.
Giving his ruling on Thursday to vacate the Court’s earlier interim orders, Justice Aneke citing relevant authorities, declared that the petitioners to the case have the locus standi to file the suit. He also ruled that the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit contrary to positions canvassed by the Respondents.
With Thursday’s vacation of the Court’s earlier interim ex-parte orders by the Court, Mr. Roger Brown is now free to participate in the management of Seplat Energy Plc in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the dual listed energy company.
Meanwhile, May 16, 2023 has been set aside by the Court to hear the substantive suit and other legal arguments associated with the case.