Home » LABOUR » Seplat Energy plc Refutes Allegations In Respect of Residency Status, Work Permit of Roger Brown

Seplat Energy plc Refutes Allegations In Respect of Residency Status, Work Permit of Roger Brown

Seplat Energy Plc has refuted the media report to the effect that its Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Mr. Roger Brown’s resident permit has been withdrawn by the Federal Government

The company in a letter signed by Basil Omiyi, Independent Chairman, on behalf of the entire Board of Seplat Energy PLC and sent to both the Nigeria Exchange and London Exchange described the report as full of false allegations.

According to the letter, the company stated: “Seplat Energy Plc has become aware of a news report following a letter regarding the residency status of its Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Mr. Roger Brown..”

“Seplat Energy wishes to refute the false allegations against Mr. Brown, which have been presented to the Ministry of Interior and the public by certain petitioners, and which have not been brought to the attention of Mr. Roger Brown or Seplat Energy for a reaction. The orchestrated media reports are clearly calculated to spread false information. Seplat Energy will be engaging with the Ministry to reject the impressions created by these allegations.”

“The Board believes that these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the enforcement of corporate governance standards in the Company by the Board of Seplat Energy.

Over the past decade, Mr. Brown has earned an unblemished record of service and leadership in the Company. On 8th March 2023, the Board of Seplat Energy unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown, who continues to discharge his duties and responsibilities as CEO from the SEPLAT UK office.”

“This announcement is made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange, 2015 (Issuer’s Rule).”

An online medium on Thursday carried a story in which it quoted a business newspaper to have reported that the work permit visa and resident permit of Roger Brown have been revoked by the federal government.

The medium quoted BusinessDay to have reported that: “The work permit, visa, and residence permit of Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc of Seplat Energy Plc has been revoked by the Minister of Interior.

“BusinessDay learnt that the minister’s hammer fell on Brown over allegations of racism, favouring of foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees levelled against him by employees of the company.

Our source said Brown was also accused by the Federal Government of being in possession of a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) not based on a valid Expatriate Quota.

It was also alleged that the CEO failed to honour invitations by the Ministry’s panel, which investigated the matter.

Phones calls to Chioma Nwachuku, Director External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy Plc did not go through as at the time of filing this report.”

Roger, a British, joined Seplat on 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was selected the company’s new CEO in November 2019, but effectively assumed the office in 2020.

The revocation was contained in a March 3, 2023 letter to the Board Chairman of Seplat Energy Plc by the Minister of Internal Affairs, which was sighted by our reporter at the Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday, where some concerned stakeholders have instituted a legal proceeding against Seplat in this respect.

The outcome of the court case is still being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

The letter entitled “Withdrawal of Work Permit, CERPAC, Visa/Residence Permit of Mr. Roger Thompson Brown – CEO, SEPLAT Energy Plc” was signed by Akinola M. Adesina, director 2, citizenship and business for honorable minister, addressed to the chairman board of directors of SEPLAT.

“I write to inform you that the Ministry is in receipt of a petition from the Solicitor to the concerned workers and stakeholders of Seplat Energy PLC accusing Mr. Rogers Thomson Brown, the CEO of the companies of various allegations.

“These accusations include racism, favouring foreign workers and discriminating against Nigerian employees. Testimony was received from several witnesses, which supported the allegations. Mr. Roger T. Brown declined to attend despite two invitations, claiming to be unavailable even though we learnt he was in Abuja for other purposes at the time.

“Investigation and records in the Ministry also revealed that Mr. Roger Brown was in possession of CERPAC that was not based on validly issued Expatriate Quota approved by the Ministry of Interior resulting to the violation of relevant Immigration Laws and Regulations. As a result of these, the Honourable Minister has determined that Mr. Brown’s continued stay in Nigeria is contrary to national interest.

“Consequently, the Ministry has withdrawn the Work Permit CERPAC, Visa, Residence Permit and all relevant documents that authorised Mr. Roger Thomson Brown’s entry or stay in Nigeria”, the letter stated.

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