Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, informed parties that are involved in the case regarding the removal of the chief executive officer of Seplat Energy plc that the ruling on the case was not ready.
The Judge has therefore sought consents of counsel to the petitioner and the respondents to deliver the ruling during Easter vacation.
Following consents of counsel, the court adjourned the matter till April 6, for ruling on all pending applications seeking to set aside the ex-parte order.
The court had on March 8, restrained Brown from parading himself as the CEO of the company pending the determination of a suit instituted against him and others by some aggrieved stakeholders of the company over allegations of racism, favouring of expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.
Justice Aneke made the order while ruling on a Motion Ex-parte, filed by J C Njikonye, on behalf of some aggrieved stakeholders of Seplat – Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe, Petitioners, against the Respondents, Seplat Energy Plc, Mr. Roger Thompson Brown, and Mr. Basil Omiyi, in Suit No. FHC/L/402/2023.
According to ThisDay report, Justice Aneke in a separate ex-parte application, granted to the petitioner to serve any order of court and all other processes to be issued subsequently in the matter on Brown and Omiyi by pasting on the premises of Seplat Energy located at Ikoyi, Lagos.
The aggrieved shareholders had in their Motion on Notice filed by their lawyer, Jeph Njikonye, prayed the court for a declaration that the affairs of Seplat were being conducted in a manner that was illegal, oppressive and unfairly prejudicial to the petitioners and other members of Seplat and in total disregard to the interest of the petitioners, other employees, and Seplat as a whole.
They equally sought a declaration that by condoning the unlawful, discriminatory, and abusive conducts of Brown, Omiyi and the Non-executive Directors have, “failed in the discharge of their duties and are unfit to continue to function in the Board of Directors of the 1st Respondent (Seplat).”
Consequently, the petitioners sought, “an order of mandatory injunction restraining the 2nd Respondent (Brown) from parading himself as, or continuing to operate as the CEO of the 1st Respondent (Seplat) or working for Seplat in any other capacity.
“They equally sought an order restraining Seplat and the company’s Board Chairman from retaining Brown as the CEO of Seplat or retaining his services for Seplat in other capacity whatsoever.”
To support their case, the aggrieved stakeholders had exhibited a petition from the Minister of Interior against Brown by employees of Seplat, as well as a letter by the Minister of Interior communicating the Ministry’s decision on the said petition to the company.
In the March 3, 2023 letter addressed to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy signed by Mr. Akinola Adesina for the Minister, which was marked as Exhibit B, the Ministry of Interior had conveyed the revocation of Roger Brown’s Work Permit, Visa, and Residence Permit
But, Seplat through its counsel, Mr. Bode Olanipekun, had in his application challenged the interim orders, contending that the orders were granted against persons that were not parties to the suit.