MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The battle line seems to have been drawn between
Seplat Energy and its former Chairman, Dr. ABC Orjiako as the company has dragged him before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on infringement that borders on misrepresentation.
Seplat is praying the court to declare the use of its official letterhead by Orjiako and his company, Amaze Limited, to make an offer in the sum of $300million, to President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, without recourse to the Board contrary to the terms of their subsisting consulting agreement.
In a document available to AtlanticNewsonline, the company is also claiming N5billion as damages from Orjiako and his company, Amaze Limited for deceit and false representation against the plaintiff.
Seplat Energy in the suit by its counsel, Matthew Burkaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is contending that on September 26, 2022, it entered into a consultancy agreement with the defendants with commencement date of July 1, 2022, for the purpose of acquiring the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited.
According to the oil firm, the defendants were by the consultancy agreement, to assist the company on the transaction in negotiations and discussion, among others with ‘Exxon Mobil Corporation.’
Seplat Energy is further asking the court to declare that the unilateral action of Orjiako via a letter dated December 22, 2022, to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources representing same as being from the plaintiff without the consent of the plaintiff and/or its Board of Directors constitutes a grave act of deceit and false representation, especially as it is intended to bind the plaintiff in a transaction worth over $300million, only which act is unlawful as it negates the provisions of Section 90 (1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, 2020, and the Articles and Regulations of the plaintiff.
The company also seeks a declaration that Orjiako’s action of issuing the unauthorised letter dated December 22, 2022, and making far-reaching commitment therein is a usurpation of the powers of the Board of Directors of the plaintiff and therefore, offends the provision of Section 87 (1) of the CAMA 2020 and the Articles and Regulations of the Plaintiff.
It is also praying the court to restrain Amaze Limited from carrying out in the name of the plaintiff, any action and/or making any representation or committing the plaintiff without the express approval of the Board of Directors of the plaintiff first formally sought and obtained.
Among others, Seplat is asking for a perpetual injunction restraining Orjiako from using the letter head of the plaintiff in making any representation on behalf of the plaintiff or committing the plaintiff to any transaction or deal without the express and formal approval of the Plaintiff via its Board of Directors.
The company is further demanding damages in the sum of N5billion against Orjiako and Amaze Limited, jointly and severally for deceit and false representation against the plaintiff.
Meanwhile, a Corporate Governance and pro Development Group, Greater Nigeria Renaissance Group (GNRG) has accused Dr. Orjiako of being behind the current travails of Seplat CEO, Mr Brown, who appears to have been muscled out of the country for his role in checkmating the unwholesome meddling of the former Chairman.