Seplat Energy said Friday its chief operating officer, Samson Ezugworie, has been asked to take over as the chief executive officer of the oil & gas company.
The decision followed an interim order of a judge, C.J. Aneke, of the Federal High Court, Lagos, restraining Roger Brown, the company’s CEO, from engaging in the running of the firm.
The corporation said in a regulatory filing that Mr Brown has stepped back from his executive duties and delegated authority to the COO.
The acting chief executive will lead the company within the seven days the court requires the former to stay away from management activities.
Seplat argued that the interim orders are based on claims of unfair, offensive and prejudicial deeds of the chairman, CEO and all the independent non-executive directors of the firm.
“The allegations include that the CEO organised a site visit for a number of its major shareholders to the Company’s operations, cancelled some catering and landscaping contracts, and introduced a new job performance rating,” Seplat Energy said in the document.
The court had on Wednesday barred Mr Brown from everyday running and management of the company, granting the plea of five petitioners who are stakeholders in the company. The petitioners are Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe.
Among the allegations against the CEO were racism, favouritism of expatriate workers and discrimination against Nigerian employees.
READ ALSO: Court bars Seplat Energy CEO from management activities
Seplat Energy, in the Friday statement issued on the authorisation of its chairperson, Basil Omiyi, debunked the accusations, noting that Nigerian citizens have been given the juiciest roles in the company since Mr Brown took the position of CEO in 2020.
Some of those roles have included chairman, chief financial officer, chief operating officer and senior independent non-executive directors, the company claimed.
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