In a lawsuit filed by Seplat, Orjiako was also charged with acting independently and without the Board of Directors’ approval when he interacted with the federal government regarding a $300 million business deal.
In a Writ of Summons filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on March 21, 2023, the company accordingly demanded the sum of $5 billion as damages.
This happened barely a few days after Seplat Energy was in the news over alleged acts of racism involving its former Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown.
While Seplat Energy is the sole plaintiff in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/386/2023, Orjiako, and a firm, Amaze Limited, are the first and second defendants, respectively.
It sought a declaration that the defendants acted in contravention of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the operation of the plaintiff when the first defendant unilaterally issued a letter dated December 22, 2022 purporting to be from the plaintiff to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister State for Petroleum Resources without the approval of the plaintiff or its Board of Directors.
Seplat, in the suit filed on its behalf by its lawyer, Mr. Mathew Burkaa, prayed the court for the following reliefs: “A declaration that the unilateral action of the first defendant, via a letter dated December 22, 2022 to the president and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, representing same as being from the plaintiff without the consent of the plaintiff and its Board of Directors, constitutes a grave act of deceit and false representation, especially as it is intended to bind the plaintiff in a transaction worth over $300 million, which is unlawful as it negates the provisions of Section 90 (1) of the CAMA, 2020, and the Articles and Regulations of the plaintiff.
“A declaration that the first defendant’s action of issuing the unauthorised letter dated December 22, 2022 and making far-reaching commitments therein is a usurpation of the Board of Directors of the plaintiff and therefore offends the provisions of Section 87(1) of the CAMA Act, 2020, and the articles and regulations of the plaintiff.
“An order restraining the first and second defendants from carrying out any action or making any representation or committing the plaintiff without the express approval of the board of directors of the plaintiff is formally sought and obtained.
“An order setting aside unilateral action taken by the first and second defendants without the express approval of the board of directors of the plaintiff.”
“A perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant from using the letterhead of the plaintiff in making any representation on behalf of the plaintiff or committing the plaintiff to any transactions or deals without the express and formal approval of the plaintiff via its board of directors.”
“Damages in the sum of N5 billion only against the first and second defendants jointly and severally for deceit and false representation against the plaintiff.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit yet.