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HomeBusinessCrisis in Seplat Energy not affecting its operations ~SEC DG Yuguda

Crisis in Seplat Energy not affecting its operations ~SEC DG Yuguda

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The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, has said that the current crisis rocking Seplat Energy has nothing to do with its fundamental economic activities.

Yuguda said this on Thursday during the press conference following the completion of the first Capital Market Committee meeting for 2023.

“As a commission, we have made a statement on the engagement we have had both with Seplat as a company and Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the exchange on which it is quoted and which is under our supervisory purview.

“We have examined the issues surrounding Seplat and have come to the conclusion that these issues do not relate to the fundamental economic activities of Seplat as a corporate entity.

“The production of Seplat has not been affected; work at all Seplat facilities is continuing as it should, but there are issues surrounding some of the members of the board and some of the shareholders, and we have urged the board to pay attention to these issues, both the administrative issues that have been raised and also the legal issues that have been raised.” Yuguda said.

The SEC DG said that the commission was satisfied with the efforts of Seplat at addressing the issues raised with them at a meeting.

“At the moment, I will say that we are satisfied that Seplat is working in accordance with the agreements reached at that meeting to ensure that these issues are followed through by Seplat to a logical conclusion.

“We continue to receive updates from the board of Seplat about the current situation in the company, and we will continue to engage with and support the company as it goes through these issues fairly so that the interests of the shareholders of Seplat are protected,” he said.

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Seplat had been embroiled in controversy after some aggrieved stakeholders accused the Chief Executive Officer, Roger Brown, of racism, favoritism for expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and a breach of the good governance code.

The company has since denied the claims.

On Wednesday the Federal Government filed four count charges against Seplat Energy Plc and its Chief Executive Officer, Roger Brown, and seven other directors for alleged breach of the Immigration Act of 2015 and other related offences.

In its suit, the government alleged that the directors of the company allowed Brown, whose visa was earlier revoked, to accept employment as the CEO of the company without the statutory approval of the Controller-General of Immigration or the consent of the Minister of Interior.

They were also said to have conspired among themselves “to allow Roger Brown to take over the business as chief executive officer of Seplat Energy PLC without the consent of the minister of interior, contrary to Section 36 (1) (b) and punishable under Section 36 (2) and Section 105 of the Immigration Act 2015”.

The respondents were also charged with instigating, encouraging, and conspiring, through neglect on their part, by allowing Brown to accept employment as Seplat’s CEO after the withdrawal of his immigration documents, “contrary to sections 36, 71, and 105 of the Immigration Act, 2015, and punishable under sections 36(2) and 105(1) of the Immigration Act, 2015.”

On March 3, the federal government revoked his visa, resident permit, and work permit of Brown, following allegations of racism, favoring foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees by aggrieved stakeholders of the company.

Seplat Energy refuted the accusations, saying “on March 8, 2023, the board of Seplat Energy unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Brown, who continues to discharge his duties and responsibilities as CEO from the SEPLAT UK office.”

But the company said on March 10 that Brown stepped down from his position following an ex-parte order stopping him from identifying himself as CEO of the company.

Last week, a federal high court in Lagos vacated the interim ex-parte order.

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