Seplat’s ex-chair denies alleged breach of law
The former Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Ambrose Orjiako, on Friday, denied any wrongdoing to the company, following various allegations levelled against him by the oil firm.
Seplat filed a writ of summons before the Federal High Court in Abuja, suing the ex-chairman for damages amounting to N5bn.
The writ, with Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/386/2023, was filed before the court on March 21, 2023, and the court ordered the defendant to appear before it within 30 days.
In the suit, Seplat asked the court to declare the use of its official letterhead by Orjiako to make an offer in the sum of $300m, without recourse to the Board, a clear breach of the terms of their subsisting consulting agreement and a breach of the Companies and Allied Matter Act, 2020, among other issues.
But on Friday, Orjiako denied any wrongdoing in the letter he initiated to the Federal Government to facilitate the consummation of the lingering $1.3bn Mobil sales deal.
Orjiako said he acted within the scope of his mandate for the benefit of the company, stressing that the energy firm was already benefitting from the values created by the letter to the presidency.
He made the clarification in a statement by his legal adviser, Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah.
Orjiako also said he had instructed his lawyers to take the necessary legal steps, including seeking appropriate damages from those behind what he described as a “mischief.”
The statement read in part, “The attention of Dr Ambrose Orjiako, the pioneer Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, has been drawn to the various malicious newspaper publications, the last being of the so called law suit filed by some persons claiming to be acting in the interest of the company.
“He had hitherto refrained from joining them in the unfortunate affray. It has, however, become necessary to let the public be aware of the mischief of these individuals who have masked their personal interest over that of the wellbeing of Seplat, a company that has earned a notable repute.
“Orjiako, the co-founder of Seplat, under the written authorisation of the Board of Directors of Seplat, had the mandate to manage certain specific stakeholders of the company in respect of the transaction which necessitated the subject communication.”
He argued that the letter referenced in the publications was written following appropriate discussions and was strictly for and in the best interest of SEPLAT.
“Also, the authorisation in the said letter expressly identifies Orjiako as the pioneer chairman,” the statement added.
It said the public should therefore not lay any credence on to law suit and the sensational publications the suit was filed to achieve.