Barely few days after Seplat Energy was in the news over alleged acts of racism involving its former Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown, the company is again in the news over alleged false representation by its former Chairman, ABC Orjiako.
Orjiako in a suit filed by Seplat was also accused of acting unilaterally when without the consent of the firm’s Board of Directors, he communicated with the federal government over a business transaction worth over $300 million.
In a Writ of Summons filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on March 21, 2023, the company accordingly demanded for the sum of $5 billion as damages.
While Seplat Energy is the sole plaintiff in the Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/386/2023, Orjiako and a firm, Amaze Limited are the first and second defendants respectively.
It sought a declaration that the defendants acted in contravention of the companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the operation of the plaintiff when the first defendant unilaterally issued a letter dated December 22, 2022 purporting same to be from the plaintiff to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister State for Petroleum Resources without the approval of the plaintiff or its Board of Directors.
Seplat in the suit filed on its behalf by its lawyer, Mr. Mathew Burkaa, prayed the court for the following reliefs: “A declaration that the unilateral action of the first defendant via a letter dated December 22, 2022 to the president and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources representing same as being from the plaintiff without the consent of the plaintiff and its Board of Directors constitute a grave act of deceit and false representation especially as it is intended to bind the plaintiff in a transaction worth over $300 million, which act is act is unlawful as it negates the provisions of Section 90 (1) of the CAMA, 2020 and the Articles and Regulations of the plaintiff.
“A declaration that the first defendant’s action of issuing the unauthorised letter dated December 22, 2022 and making far reaching commitment therein is a usurpation of the Board of Directors of the plaintiff and therefore offends the provisions of Section 87(1) of the CAMA Act, 2020 and the Article and Regulations of the plaintiff.
“An order restraining the first and second defendants from carrying out in the name of the plaintiff any action or making any representation or committing the plaintiff without the express approval of the board of directors of the plaintiff is formally sought and obtained.
“An order setting aside unilateral action taken by the first and second defendant without the express approval of the board of directors of the plaintiff.
“A perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant from using the letter head of the plaintiff in making any representation on behalf of the plaintiff or committing the plaintiff to any transactions or deal without the express and formal approval of the plaintiff via its board of directors.
“Damages in the sum of N5 billion only against the first and second defendant jointly and severally for deceit and false representation against the plaintiff.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
Alex Enumah in Abuja