Lekoil Nigeria Limited notes the decision of Lekoil Limited (“Lekoil Cayman”) to terminate the service of Mr. Lekan Akinyanmi and remove him as Lekoil Cayman CEO as announced 3 June 2021. This decision is the culmination of the efforts of the consortium led by Metallon Corporation to take control of Lekoil Cayman as foreshadowed in the circular to shareholders of Lekoil Cayman dated 11 December 2020.
We are of the opinion that recent additions to the board of Lekoil Cayman by Metallon Corporation and its collaborators should have been vetted (as is the practice of Lekoil Cayman) and due diligenced as required by the AIM Rules and as would be normal for listed companies. Seasoned oil sector executives such as George Maxwell, and former directors with deep knowledge of the continent, such as Mark Simmonds, have resigned and been replaced with directors lacking industry expertise, knowledge of the continent, impartiality and objectivity and appointed to secure for Metallon Corporation and its collaborators, the full takeover of Lekoil Cayman.
Since the takeover of the board of Lekoil Cayman in January by Metallon Corporation, a South African mining company, and its collaborators, concerted efforts have been made to seize control of the assets of Lekoil Nigeria Limited. The decision to remove Mr. Akinyanmi is the latest outcome of this strategy.
The procedure leading to the termination of Mr. Akinyanmi’s service is not compliant with the company’s corporate governance policies. Together with the appointment of unvetted new appointments to the board of Lekoil Cayman by the Metallon Corporation consortium, it is clear that the majority of the board of Lekoil Cayman is failing persistently to comply with its corporate governance code, yet the board of Lekoil Cayman determines on this ground to terminate the service of Mr Akinyanmi. The termination process was led by Anthony Hawkins, erstwhile Acting-Chairman (non-executive), who is now appointed Executive Chairman.
Mr. Akinyanmi remains on the Board of Lekoil Nigeria Limited and also its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Akinyanmi created and executed the vision of an independent indigenous Nigerian energy company that is Lekoil, for this generation and in this emerging market and he has always worked with the best interest of Lekoil shareholders in mind.
While we take legal counsel regarding this decision by Lekoil Cayman, we wish to assure our numerous stakeholders, especially the Nigerian people that the strategic national assets under our purview will be protected by all legitimate means available to us.
Lekoil Nigeria remains committed to the vision of developing Nigeria’s energy sector.