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FG files charges against Seplat, Roger Brown over ‘breach of immigration’


The federal government has brought a four-count charge against Seplat Energy at a federal high court in Abuja, over an alleged breach of extant provisions of the Immigration Act, 2015.

Roger Brown, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO); Basil Omiyi, board chairman; Edith Onwuchekwa, company secretary/legal counsel; as well as independent directors Fabian Ajogwu, Rabiu Bello, Emma Fitzgerald, Charles Okeahalam, Bashirat Odunewu, were also charged.

In the suit, marked, FHC/AB/CR/149/2023, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to allow Roger Brown accept employment as chief executive officer at Seplat Energy Plc “without the consent of the comptroller-general of immigration, contrary to section 36 (1)(a) and 71 of the Immigration Act, 2015, and punishable under section 36 (2) and section 71 (a) of the Immigration Act, 2015”.

They were also said to have connived among themselves “to allow Mr. Roger Brown take over business as chief executive officer of Seplat Energy PLC without the consent of the minister of interior, contrary to section 36 (1) (b) and punishable under section 36 (2) and section 105 of the Immigration Act 2015”.

The respondents were also charged with instigating, encouraging and conniving, through neglect on their part, by allowing Brown to accept employment as Seplat’s CEO after withdrawal of his immigration documents, “contrary to sections 36, 71, and 105 of the Immigration Act, 2015, and punishable under sections 36(2), 105(1) of the Immigration Act 2015”.

“That you…did refuse to make an application to the comptroller-general of immigration for his permission before employing Mr. Roger Thompson Brown both as chief finance officer and chief executive officer of Seplat Energy PLC, contrary to section 38(1) of the Immigration Act, 2015 and punishable under section 38(5) of the Immigration Act 2015,” the charge reads.

On March 3, the federal government had revoked the visa, resident permit, and work permit of Brown, following allegations of racism, favouring foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees, by aggrieved stakeholders of the company.


Seplat Energy refuted the accusations, saying “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”.

But the company, on March 10, said Brown stepped down from his position following an ex-parte order stopping him from identifying himself as CEO of the company.

Last week, a federal high court in Lagos vacated the interim ex-parte order.

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