A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued a Mareva Injunction that temporarily restrains the co-founder of Seplat Energy Plc, Dr Ambrose Bryant Chukwuemeka Orjiako, popularly known as ABC Orjiako, and other firms linked to him, from accessing the accounts and assets of Seplat Energy Plc.
This is according to a statement signed by the Secretary of Seplat Energy Plc, Mrs Edith Onwuchekwa, and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
Seplat Energy Plc in the recent press release disclosed that the order has no impact on its operations. It linked the injunction to a court action instituted by Zenith Bank Plc against the aforementioned parties.
Recall that Zenith Bank Plc through its counsel, Mr Kemi Balogun (SAN) had dragged Dr Orjiakor, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited, Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and about six others before the Federal High Court, over an alleged debt of about $78,426,578.64.
Having accessed the merit of the case, Justice Yellin Bogoro of the Federal High Court in Lagos, issued an interim order restraining Orjiako, and the two firms, as well as their proxies in Nigeria and any jurisdiction worldwide, from receiving and or transferring assets and accounts of Seplat Energy Plc, pending the hearing and determination of the bank’s motion on notice.
What they are saying: A press release issued by the energy giant on the matter reads: ‘’ Seplat Energy has been made aware of the ex parte Interim Orders of Mareva Injunctions which were granted by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Nigeria in a court action instituted by Zenith Bank PLC against Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited and 8 others, with an additional 29 cited parties.
‘’The Interim Orders give an administrative mandate to Seplat Energy Plc and others not to deal with the assets of (or transfer funds to) Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako. The order has no impact on the operations of Seplat Energy. We understand the injunction relates to loans made by Zenith Bank PLC to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited in 2014.’’
Recall that similar issue played out between the firm and Access Bank Plc in the early parts of this year, after the Bank obtained an initial ex parte order to seal the assets of the energy firm, over the debt of a third party- Cardinal Services Limited.
Shebah Exploration & Production Company is owned by Dr. Orjiako. The company co-founded Seplat Energy Plc, in collaboration with Platform Petroleum Limited.