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Federal Court Adjourns Contempt Suit Against Seplat’s Orjiako

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday adjourned till May 27 further proceedings in a $1.3m debt recovery suit filed by AOS Orwell Limited against Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited.

Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned the case to allow for the outcome of an appeal filed by the Managing Director of Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited, Dr Ambrose Orjiako, to challenge the arrest order by the court. Orjiako is also the Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC.

Justice Hadiza Shagari of the court had on December 4, 2017 issued a warrant for Orjiako’s arrest, following his repeated failure to appear in court to defend a contempt application filed against him by AOS Orwell Limited.

AOS Orwell Limited claimed that Orjiako flouted a November 8, 2016 order made by Justice Shagari, restraining him from tampering with the assets of Shebah Exploration and Production Limited, pending the determination of the debt recovery suit filed against the company by AOS Orwell Limited. AOS Orwell Limited insisted that the court must commit Orjiako to prison for alleged contempt of court.

In spite of the court’s ruling, Orjiako repeatedly failed to appear before the court, prompting Justice Shagari to issue a warrant for his arrest.

However Mr Orjiako filed an appeal seeking to vacate the court order. Shebah’s lawyer Temidayo Alabi said during Monday’s proceedings that the Court of Appeal had yet to determine Orjiako’s appeal against the arrest order.

AOS Orwell’s lawyer, G.C. Duru did not object to an adjournment.

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