President Buhari reverses Seplat's $1.3 billion takeover of Exxon Mobil

The President, Muhammadu Buhari has rescinded his decision to approve the sale of Exxon Mobil shares in the United States of America to Seplat energy.

President Muhammadu Buhari (TheNation)

This development was revealed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who confirmed it to Daily Trust.

Recall the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), which is the petroleum regulatory body on Monday, August 8, 2022 rejected Buhari’s decision to approve the sale of Exxon Mobil shares Mobil to Seplat Energy worth $1.3 billion.

NUPRC’s position came as a response to the President's earlier information which announced his assent to the sale.

NUPRC stated that the status quo as regards the sale of Exxon Mobil shares was “the decline of assent to the transaction or share acquisition of ExxonMobil shares by Seplat,”

The Presidential aide, Shehu, added that Buhari's position came as a backing for NUPRC, which in its capacity as the regulator, had insisted on its refusal of assent to the ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition worth $1.3 billion.

Earlier, another interested party, the Akwa Ibom state Government had also warned the FG to back off from the planned ExxonMobil/Seplat Energy share acquisition.

The state, through its attorney general and commissioner of Justice, Uko Essien Udom, SAN had issued a warning advising the FG to halt the planned approval.

According to Udom, the proposed transaction was subject to restraining orders of injunction in a high court in the state in Suits No. HEK/56/2018, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF AKWA IBOM STATE V. MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED and HU/209/2020, MOBIL PRODUCING NIGERIA UNLIMITED V. GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE & 3 OTHERS.

The state law officer also noted that the companies in question, Exxonmobil, Seplat Energy, NNPC Ltd and the Federal Government of Nigeria, all had actual knowledge of the court orders, having been duly served with the orders and/or various newspaper publications of the same.

Udom regretted the executive interference with the judicial process of a court of competent jurisdiction describing it as a sad and ill-advised development.

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