Nigeria Immigration Service, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, has filed a legal suit against Seplat Energy, a leading Nigerian energy company at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
BrandNewsDay reports that the suit relates to the immigration status of one of the company’s directors, Mr. Roger Brown, and the withdrawal of his immigration visa by the Ministry of Interior.
Seplat Energy has responded to the lawsuit by reaffirming its commitment to the rule of law and high standards of corporate governance.
The company has stated that it is confident it has provided all of the necessary documentation to the Ministry of Interior and that the judicial process will address the matter appropriately.
The announcement, which was made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange, 2015 (Issuer’s Rule), was authorised for publication by Mr. Basil Omiyi, Independent Chairman, on behalf of the entire Board of Seplat Energy PLC.
Earlier this year, concerned parties petitioned Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, with allegations of favouritism, racism, discrimination, and breach of corporate governance against Mr Brown, a British citizen who serves as the CEO of Seplat Energy, an independent Nigerian energy company.
On March 3, Minister Aregbesola sent a letter to Chairman Basil Omiyi, informing him of the withdrawal of the CEO’s work permit, visa, and residence permit, including a petition from a lawyer to Seplat employees who made the allegations.
A week later, a Federal High Court in Lagos granted an interim order forbidding Mr Brown from management activities in Seplat Energy, granting the prayer of petitioners including Moses Igbrude, Ajani Abidoye, Sarat Kudaisi, Robert Ibekwe, and Kenneth Nnabike.
The court also forbade the company’s chairman and all independent non-executive directors from running the company “in an illegal, unfairly, prejudicial and oppressive manner pending the hearing and determination of the petitioners’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
Seplat Energy responded to the allegations and court order, stating that the petition lacked proper basis and was premised on false allegations.
Last week, the court repealed the orders initially issued against the CEO and chairman of the company.