A legal practitioner, Hyginus Nnubia, who is one of the shareholders of Seplat Energy Plc, has filed a suit against the company before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over its alleged refusal to hold the 2023 Annual General Meeting.
Nnubia, in his originating summons in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/484/2023, is asking the court for an order mandating the defendant to hold its 2023 AGM in May 2023, or any other time within the time permitted by the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 20720.
He further asked the court to mandate the company’s officers to render account at the defendant’s AGM by presenting the audited financial statements and declaring a dividend to the shareholders where the profits permit.
The applicant also sought the following reliefs “Whether upon consideration of section 237 (1) of the CAMA, 2020 the defendant is not statutorily obligated to hold its AGM each year, in addition to any other meeting?
“Whether upon consideration of section 238 of the CAMA, 2020, the defendant’s officers are not statutorily obligated to render their stewardship account at the defendant’s AGM by presenting the defendant’s financial statements to its shareholders, and declare a dividend to the shareholders where the profits permit?
“Whether the Court does not have the inherent powers to restrain any person or persons from interfering or further interfering with the operations and effective management of affairs of the defendant, including but not limited to the holding an AGM and presentation of the audited financial statements to the shareholders.”
If the following above is resolved in his favour, the lawyer asked the court to declare that the defendant (Seplat Energy) is statutorily obligated to hold his AGM each year in addition to any other meeting.
“An order restraining any person or persons (including but not limited to present or former Director(s), Shareholders(s), and Employee(s) of the from interfering or except such intervention as may be determined or made during the AGM of the defendant.
“An order of the Court directing the defendant to pay the cost of this action to the tune of N10m.”
He said that it was characteristic for the defendant to hold its AGM by May of every year (even during the COVID years – 2020), to ensure compliance with the statute.
“I know for a fact that by March of every year, the proposed date for the company’s AGM is usually set and notices thereafter promptly issued.
“He stated that the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Annual General meetings for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 were held on May 16, 2019, May 28, 2020, May 20, 2071, and May 18, 2022, respectively. “