After a Federal High Court decision issued in Lagos last Wednesday, British national and Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy PLC Roger Brown resigned from his position on Friday, according to the company’s announcement.
Before the outcome of a lawsuit brought by irate corporate stakeholders against Brown and others, the court had ordered him to stop posing as the firm’s CEO.
The resentful parties accused Brown of racism, favoritism for foreign employees, prejudice against Nigerians, and a violation of good governance.
The announcement announcing Brown’s resignation was signed by Basil Omiyi, the chairman of the Seplat board. Omiyi said that the embattled CEO had given Samson Ezugwore, chief operating officer of Seplat, the power to serve as CEO during this time.
In the announcement, it was stated that Seplat had been served with court documents and a court order “restraining Brown from engaging in the management of the Company for a period of 7 days” issued by Judge Chukwuejekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The claims against the Chairman, CEO, and each Independent Non-Executive Director of Seplat Energy were the basis for the court order, according to Seplat.
The CEO is alleged to have cancelled several catering and landscaping contracts, organized a site visit for a number of the company’s important shareholders, and implemented a new work performance evaluation.
Seplat Energy denied the allegations, claiming that since Roger Brown became CEO in 2020, Nigerians have been appointed to the most crucial roles within the organization, including Chairman, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operational Officer.
The board claimed that the criticisms leveled at it were in response to its implementation of corporate governance guidelines and commitment to upholding its fiduciary obligations to the company.
The Order permits the Chairman, Mr. Basil Omiyi, and all of Seplat Energy’s INEDS to continue managing the business of the Company on the grounds that it is in compliance with Nigerian law, according to the statement.
Mr. Samson Ezugwore, the Chief Operational Officer, has been given permission by Mr. Roger Brown to assume the role of CEO while he is obliged to take a break from his executive responsibilities.
Seplat will reply to the accusations brought before the courts in accordance with the law. The Company will keep up its excellent operating standards and follow the finest practices in corporate governance at the same time.
A hearing on the current application was scheduled for March 23, 2023, and the case was postponed.
Remember that Roger Brown’s employment permit, visa, and residency status have all been canceled by the Ministry of Interior due to claims of racism and prejudice.
The Ministry informed the head of Seplat’s board of its decision to revoke Brown’s employment permit, visa, and residence status in a letter dated March 3, 2023.
Seplat refute Charges brought against Roger Brown.
The Seplat board of directors refuted the claims in a statement that was signed by Omiyi.
The Board thinks that these accusations are a baseless and vengeful response to the Board of Seplat Energy’s implementation of corporate governance norms in the Company, according to a portion of the statement. Mr. Brown has established an impeccable track record of leadership and service within the Business over the past ten years.
“The Board of Seplat Energy unanimously approved a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown in March 2023. Mr. Brown continues to carry out his responsibilities as CEO from the SEPLAT UK headquarters.”
Also, it was disclosed that the business will speak with the Interior Ministry about the issue, which they allege the CEO was not made aware of.
Roger Brown joined Seplat in 2013 as the company’s chief financial officer. In November 2019, he was appointed CEO of the business. His official inauguration took place in 2020.