Seplat Energy Plc terminates consultancy agreement with its former Chairman Dr. A.B.C Orjiako

Key highlights

  • Seplat Energy said it terminated the agreement due to repeated breaches of a material nature, such as making significant commitments on behalf of the company without board approval.
  • The termination was necessary to protect the company and its directors from possible liabilities, and Seplat has instituted legal action against Orjiako and Amaze Limited.
  • Seplat Energy has recently been involved in scandals, including the recent controversy involving its CEO Roger Brown, who was forced to temporarily step down following an injunction by the court.

Seplat Energy Plc has announced the immediate termination of a consultancy agreement between its co-founder and former Chairman, Dr A.B.C Orjiako, and one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries. 

The development follows an earlier suspension of the agreement last month, as unanimously approved by the company’s board of directors.

A press statement sent to Nairametrics explained that the company decided to terminate the contract due to repeated corporate governance breaches of a material nature, such as unilaterally making significant commitments on behalf of Seplat and using the company’s letterhead to communicate said commitments without prior approval by the Board.

The statement further explained that it became necessary for Seplat to terminate the consultancy agreement in order to protect the company and its directors from possible liabilities. Part of the statement said:

  • “The termination follows the suspension of the Consultancy Agreement on 13 February 2023, as unanimously approved by the Board of Directors, following repeated warnings about breaches of a material nature, such as unilaterally making significant commitments on Seplat’s letterhead without prior Board authority or knowledge.
  • “This course of action was necessary to protect the Company and its Shareholders, Directors, and Officers from potential and increasing liability arising from the conduct of the Consultants, Dr Orjiako and Amaze Limited.”

Seplat institutes Legal action against Orjiako and Amaze Limited

In the meantime, the company said it dragged A.B.C Orjiako and Amaze Limited to a Federal High Court as part of ongoing efforts to appropriately remedy the situation.

As the matter awaits the resolution of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Seplat has assured stakeholders that it remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance across every aspect of its business.

The backstory

Orjiako, who co-founded Seplat Energy with former CEO Austin Avuru, retired as the Board Chairman back in May 2022.

As Nairametrics reported at the time of his retirement, he was in discussion with the board on ways he could continue to actively support Seplat Energy with specific and important external stakeholder engagements, which was part of his job as the Chairman.

That discussion resulted in the consultancy arrangement which obliged him to provide defined assistance to certain external stakeholders. Now, that arrangement has been terminated.

What you should know about Seplat’s recent controversies

Seplat Energy has recently been involved in some scandals, including the recent one involving its Chief Executive Officer Roger Brown. As Nairametrics reported, some accusations were levelled against Mr Brown, including an accusation of racism. Also, his work and residency permits were revoked by Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior. 

These accusations were, of course, refuted. But ultimately, he was forced to temporarily step down from his position as CEO following an injunction by the court which restrained him from acting in that capacity pending the outcome of a lawsuit by some aggrieved stakeholders.

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