Court strikes out suit against Seplat CEO, Board chairman over alleged racism
The Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, struck out a suit filed by some aggrieved shareholders against Seplat Energy, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Roger Brown, and Chairman, Board of Directors, Basil Omiyi, over alleged racism.
Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke struck out the suit after the stakeholders’ counsel, Ayodele Arotiowa, informed the court of his clients’ intention to withdraw the suit.
The aggrieved stakeholders, who were petitioners in the suit marked FHC/L/402/2023, include Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe, with Seplat Energy Plc, Brown and Omiyi listed as first to third defendants.
The petitioners had asked the court for an order of mandatory injunction restraining the second respondent (Brown) from parading himself as the CEO of 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 any capacity.
At the resumed hearing of the substantive suit, counsel to the petitioners, Arotiowa, informed the court that his clients had filed notice of withdrawal and were no longer willing to continue with the suit.
But while addressing the court, Seplat’s counsel, Uzoma Azikiwe (SAN), told the court that his client had filed an appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and urged the court to suspend all proceedings pending determination of the appeal.
Counsel to Seplat’s CEO, Kayode Adesina, informed the court that the notice of withdrawal filed by the petitioners was served on him in court, after the appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the court had been entered at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.
He submitted that the petitioners filed their notice of discountenance on April 18, 2023, but decided to serve the respondents in court.
While not opposing the notice of discontinuance, he asked the court to award N10 million as cost against the petitioners for the delay in serving notice of discontinuance, which counsel to the petitioners blamed on the court’s bailiff.
In his ruling, Justice Aneke struck out the suit and ordered the petitioners to pay N1million cost to the second and third respondents.