Seplat Board Appoints Three Independent Non-Executive Directors

The Board of Directors of Seplat Energy Plc has announced the appointment of Mr. Christopher John Okeke, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma and Mr. Babs Omotowa as Independent Non-Executive Directors of the Company.

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Seplat in a statement on Wednesday said, Mr. Okeke and Mr. Udoma would be joining the Seplat Board with effect from 1 December 2023, while Mr. Babs Omotowa would be joining the Board on 1 April 2024.

The company said, as set out in the Board Succession Strategy announced in the 2022 Annual Report and by Corporate Announcement on the 25 April 2023 (RNS: 3575X), it embarked on the recruitment process in line with the Board of Directors’ Succession Forward Plan.

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“As stipulated in the Companies and Allied Matters Act of Nigeria (“CAMA”) the successor Chairman must already be a director and be voted in by the other directors by a simple majority. In addition, in accordance with Seplat’s Memorandum and Articles, the Chairman must be a Nigerian National”, it added.

With the new appointment, Seplat said, “Mr Basil Omiyi and Dr Charles Okeahalam, would step down from the Board on the 31 of March 2024 after the 2023 Annual Report and Accounts have been finalised and approved by the Board. The election for the next Seplat Chairman will take place thereafter”.

Mr. Christopher Okeke is a Nigerian Corporate Commercial lawyer, diplomat, and agribusiness expert. Mr. Okeke graduated from Georgetown Law School with an LLM in 1979 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1980.

He co-founded a major Nigerian commercial Law firm, Ajumogobia & Okeke, in 1984, where he served as the managing partner until his retirement in 2009. While in active legal practice, Mr. Okeke led his firm’s Project Financing and Privatisation Group, representing investors and banks over many years.

Mr. Okeke has vast years of board experience, serving as nominee director for several international companies, including Philip Morris (including as chairman). He has served on several boards including – Cadbury Nigeria plc, SO & U Saatchi & Saatchi, Indorama Petrochemicals Nigeria Limited, Asset and Resource Management Limited, ARM Pension Managers (PFA) Limited. Mr Okeke was Ambassador of Nigeria to Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay 2017-2020.

He has served as the Honorary Legal Adviser to successive British High Commissioners since1989. He has also served as legal advisor to the Federal Republic of Germany, the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, Austria, Australia, and Canada, advising on consular and commercial matters.

He acted as counsel to various international and multilateral Development Agencies including The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma CON, is an accomplished lawyer and seasoned board administrator. Mr. Udoma attended St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, England where he obtained a B.A. (Law) degree and a B.C.L. degree in jurisprudence. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1978. He founded the Law Firm Udo-Udoma & Belo Osagie in 1983 and retired from active legal practice in early 2020.

Whilst in practice, Mr. Udoma specialized in advising on Nigerian investment laws and the investment environment, particularly in the petroleum, energy, and natural resources sectors.

He advised Nigerian and international companies on company law, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and the raising of financing in the capital and money markets, as well as on major construction and engineering contracts.

Mr. Udoma has served on a number of large size company boards. He was Chairman of UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc and served on the boards of companies such as Unilever Nigeria Plc., Linkage Assurance Plc and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited. He has also held a number of public sector appointments.

He was the first Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and has also served as the Chairman of the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

He was the Special Adviser to the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources from September 1993 to March 1994 and served as Minister of Budget & National Planning from 2015 to 2019.

He was elected to the Nigerian Senate in 1999 and served for two terms from 1999 to 2007. Mr. Udoma is currently the Pro-Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Mr. Babs Omotowa is an international leader in the Energy industry across Europe, Africa, the United States of America, Asia, and the Middle East, in organisation leadership, commercial, strategy and operational roles spanning over 26 years.

Mr. Omotowa holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry, masters degree in – business administration, specialising in Operations Research and Supply Chain Management, and an Honorary Doctor of Science. Mr. Omotowa was the Managing Director/CEO of Nigeria LNG Limited (“NLNG”) for almost 5 years from December 2011 to September 2016.

Prior to joining Nigeria LNG, he served in different capacities including as a Vice-President Shell Sub-Saharan Africa, Director at Shell Petroleum Development Company, a Non-Executive Director of West Africa Gas Pipeline Company, amongst others.

After his role as MD, NLNG, he served as a Vice President of Shell Global Upstream E&P and later as Special Adviser to the Shell Global Upstream Director.

He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Montserrado Oil and Gas B.V, an Independent Director on the Boards of Pearlhill Technology USA, Stanbic IBTC Holding Plc, and CAP Plc, and Founding President of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management.

Mr. Omotowa has attended several Leadership programs, at Harvard, INSEAD and IMD. His professional leadership includes being the Global President for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, based in London, UK, and with over 100,000 members globally.

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