A group known as Eagle Eye made up of shareholders with major stake in Nigeria’s indigenous oil giant, Seplat Energy, has expressed condifence in the management’s capability to deliver superior returns and place the organisation on the path of sustainable growth.
The group also vouched for the authenticity, sanctity and correctness of the company’s half-year results which reported impressive performance.
This is coming on the heels of allegations by some shareholders against the dual-listed firm on its half-year results that ended June 2023.
In a statement made available to Qed.ng, Eagle Eye shareholders described the purported joint press conference by the leader of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Moses Igbrude, and one Lemmy Ughegbe said to be the executive director of Make A Difference Initiative (MADI) that the exercise is a continuation of the recent onslaught of series of baseless allegations and ill-motivated lawsuits against Seplat Energy and its chief executive officer Roger Brown.
Mr Brown faced allegations of racism, discrimination and improper immigration status in the first half of the year, which led to lawsuits and withdrawal of his working permit, combined expatriate residence permit and aliens card and other visas for the entry or stay in Nigeria, by the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The shareholders group emphasised that “As representatives of the Majority shareholders of Seplat Energy, we are appalled by this renewed media offensive, after a seeming truce ostensibly occasioned by the reversal suffered in the law courts, by this group of individuals led by Mr. Moses Igbrude but apparently being aided and abetted by a former major shareholder of the company.”
Igbrude and others claim that Seplat spent $19.4m on legal fees and are demanding a probe and the removal of the board.
“We consider it a travesty that Mr. Igbrude whose initial sponsored petition introduced the flurry of false and orchestrated allegations against Seplat, its CEO, and its Directors/Officers, still have the temerity to be grandstanding,” the Eagle Eye shareholders said.
They further asserted that it is noteworthy that Igbrude’s allegations formed the basis of the initial regrettable actions taken by the Ministry of Interior and the criminal charge brought against Seplat and its officers, which was promptly withdrawn by the NIS, while Seplat and its officers were entirely discharged by the Federal High Court (Abuja) in April 2023.
According to the group, “It is also an irony that Igbrude and his cohorts will be talking glibly about the provision for legal fees made in the company’s Half Year report when they were the same people who ignited an avalanche of lawsuits that necessitated the need for Seplat to defend its hard-earned reputation and the high integrity of its officials. The chicanery, which the cases evinced, just like this recent joint press conference, offended civilized conduct even as it stretched freedom of expression to an absurd limit.
“As representatives of the majority shareholders”, the statement continued, “we were alarmed that a company in which we have made a significant investment and from which we derive ample returns will be unduly maligned and castigated in public by a clique of 13 minority shareholders holding less than 800 shares out of 589m shares (0.0001% of the company’s issued shares).”
The Eagle Eye shareholders further restated its “unwavering confidence in the Board and Management of Seplat Energy. We state categorically that the action of Igbrude and his fellow litigants was ill-motivated with the intention of diminishing the value of Seplat Energy, which has by its consistent superlative performance, remains at the apex of the best-performing company in Nigeria.”