Home Courts Alleged racism: Court revokes Seplat CEO’s removal

Alleged racism: Court revokes Seplat CEO’s removal

Seplat-lagospost.ng
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The interim injunction that restrained Mr Roger Brown from misrepresenting himself as the CEO of Seplat Energy Plc was revoked by the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke vacated the order when he ruled on applications filed by the respondents, which included Seplat Energy Plc, Brown, Mr Basil Omiyi, and other persons affected by the ex parte orders in Suit No. FHC/L/402/2023.

Justice Aneke said he vacated the March 8, 2023, interim order based on the provisions of Order 26 Rules 9 and 10 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019.

The court earlier restrained Brown based on an application by some aggrieved stakeholders of the company, who accused the white CEO of racism, favouring expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.

The aggrieved stakeholders are Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye, and Robert Ibekwe.

The respondents to the suit had in their various applications urged the court to set aside the restraining orders, contending that the petitioners lacked locus standing to file the suit.

In addition they challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit on grounds that the complaints of the petitioners fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court.

They contended that the interim orders were granted against persons that were not parties to the suit.

Moreso, counsel for Seplat, Mr Bode Olanipekun (SAN), submitted that the interim order had elapsed.

In his ruling, Justice Aneke dismissed the argument by the respondents that the petitioners had no locus standi to file the suit and that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.

The judge held “I find, as a fact, that the petitioners’ grouse can adequately be accommodated under the provisions of Section 354 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA which falls within the jurisdiction of this court.

“I find and hold that the petitioners have locus standing to bring the petition before the court. Furthermore, this court has jurisdiction to adjudicate on the suit as it falls within the provision of Section 251 of the Constitution.”

However, the judge said he found merit in the prayer to vacate the interim order restraining Brown.

“By virtue of Order 26 Rules 9 and 10 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019, the interim orders of the court made on March 8, 2023 are hereby discharged and vacated,” the judge said.

He subsequently adjourned the matter till May 16 for an accelerated hearing.

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