By Dennis Erezi
Founder and former MD/CEO of Seplat, Austin Avuru, has urged members of the public to disregard his purported sacking as a non-executive director of the company.
Avuru in a statement by his lawyer, Osaro Eghobamien, SAN and Folabi Kuti, SAN of Perchstone and Graeys, said the general public should discredit the sack announced by Seplat which was designed to ‘malign’ his person.
“Our attention has been drawn to a publication issued by Seplat Energy Plc. (Seplat Energy/ the Company) on December 23, 2021, clearly designed to malign Mr Austin Avuru (our client), and well-circulated on both the mainstream and social media,” Avuru’s lawyer said.
Seplat Energy Plc on Thursday said it has terminated Avuru’s appointment as a non-executive director of the company.
Edith Onwuchekwa, director, legal, and secretary at Seplat said the board approved Avuru’s termination on Wednesday due to “breaches of the company’s corporate governance policies and his fiduciary duties.”
Onwuchekwa said that Platform Petroleum Limited, which operates as an integrated oil and gas production, processing, and marketing chain, would nominate a candidate to replace Avuru.
Avuru’s lawyer, however, exonerate himself from the accusations by the company and said it is a plot to damage his reputation.
“Our client has taken a dignified position on the issues leading to the ill-advised action,” his lawyers said.
“This is clearly evidenced by Seplat Energy’s letter dated January 9, 2021, confirming our client’s dignified position, and urging our client to act with confidentiality, which is customary to our client’s impeccable character. In a dramatic summersault and by letter dated December 22, 2021, received by our client at about 6 pm, Seplat Energy purports to terminate the appointment of our client from the Board.
“This was followed by a public announcement the next morning without as much even giving our client the opportunity to respond to a letter, content of which were otherwise grossly mischievous.”
Avuru’s lawyers insisted the sack was “to do incalculable damage to our client’s hard-earned reputation.”
“We will immediately respond to the fictitious allegations and reserve our client’s rights. The general public is hereby advised to discountenance Seplat Energy’s publication of December 23, 2021.”