MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Braxton Ilobah
A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos today struck out a Petition against Seplat Energy brought before the Court on 8th March 2023 by Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe in Suit No. FHC/L/CP/402/2023 – Moses Igbrude & 4 others V. Seplat & 2 others.
It would be recalled that the Petition had led to ex parte Interim Orders that ordered Mr. Roger Brown to step aside as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
However, the Court later vacated the Orders on 6th April 2023.
At today’s hearing, it came to the knowledge of the Court presided over by Hon. Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that the Petitioners had prepared a Notice of Discontinuance dated 13th April 2023 and filed on 18th April 2023.
The Petitioners inexplicably delayed service of the Discontinuance Notice on Seplat and its Officers until yesterday and today, respectively.
The Court therefore struck out the Petition and ordered the Petitioners to pay costs to Mr. Roger Brown in the amount of N1 million.
This judicial outcome follows yesterday’s suspension by the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal of the ex parte Interim Orders granted by the Federal High Court (Abuja) in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/626/2023 – Juliet Gbaka & 2 others v. Seplat Energy Plc & 13 others.
The Moses Igbrude Petition was the first in the successive line of petitions commenced against Seplat Energy between March and April 2023 by a combination of 13 minority shareholders holding less than 800 shares out of 589 million shares (or 0.0001% of the Company’s issued shares).
The Moses Igbrude Petition also introduced the onslaught of false and orchestrated allegations against the Company, its CEO and its Directors/Officers, which formed the basis of the actions taken by the Ministry of Interior and the criminal charge brought against Seplat Energy and its Officers, which was promptly withdrawn by the Nigeria Immigration Service while the Company and its Officers were entirely discharged by the Federal High Court (Abuja) in April 2023.
In a statement today, Board Chairman of Seplat Energy, Mr. Basil Omiyi reiterated the company’s confidence in the Nigerian Judiciary as it continues its systematic resolution of these orchestrated and frivolous litigations, which are aimed at disrupting the smooth operations of the Company.