Seplat Energy has refuted allegations of wrongdoing in the approval process for the purchase of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from ExxonMobil, an American multinational oil company.
Seplat Energy said in a statement on Wednesday that the allegations of wrongdoing to win President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval had caught their attention.
Buhari, who doubles as the petroleum minister, gave his approval two days prior. Hours later, the oversight body for the oil sector, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), asserted that the president lacked the authority to grant such approval.
NUPRC said based on the Petroleum Industry Act, only the regulator has the right to give consent. This created confusion, raising eyebrows as to the process by which Seplat Energy obtained approval, considering there was no agreement within the government.
With the $1.28 billion deal at risk, Seplat dismissed claims of impropriety.
“Seplat Energy has become aware of news and social media reports alleging impropriety in the process of securing ministerial consent to the acquisition of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
“Such reports are wholly untrue and the Company will pursue legal action against any parties involved in disseminating false information related to its business”, the statement signed by its Chief Financial Officer, Emeka Onwuka, stated.